HIV impacts the LGBTQ+ community disproportionately. Meanwhile, the number of LGBTQ+ older adults with HIV is on the rise. Until relatively recently, the potential for someone with HIV to live for decades was unimaginable. Now, people with HIV are living longer than ever. That being said, HIV patients have distinct needs and health challenges to overcome.
According to the CDC, nearly 50 percent of people living with HIV in the United States are 50 years or older. People 50 and older even account for 17 percent of all new HIV cases. Older Americans are also more likely to be dually diagnosed with both HIV and AIDS because these individuals were more likely to be diagnosed and treated at later stages of the disease’s progression. This has made older adults with HIV more likely to have health complications and a worse prognosis after diagnosis and treatment.
An HHS report indicates that individuals living for many years with HIV are more likely to show an increase in characteristics observed in the aging process (multiple chronic conditions, decline in physical and cognitive function, and vulnerability to stressors). What this means is that while AIDS and HIV complications have become more well managed, unrelated conditions and complications are more common amongst those with long-standing HIV infection.
Finally, poverty and social isolation are even more common amongst the elder community living with HIV. This is because many of these individuals have lost friends during the AIDS epidemic and through a lifetime of elevated costs related to long-term HIV care.
Chosen Family recognizes the unique needs of the HIV and AIDS community. We are committed to ensuring that our HIV/AIDS patients can mitigate the risks associated with long term disease management. We are also dedicated to provide patients with culturally competent services and supports to allow them to thrive and remain independent in the community.