Many people living with HIV are now aged over 50. This more mature aged group now accounts for nearly 30% of the positive population in Australia. When you combine this with the increase in new diagnoses among people over 40 – up almost 70% since 2000 – it all points to a growing vulnerability for those of us growing older with HIV.
How well we age and how the ageing of our bodies impacts upon our health is unique to each of us. However, HIV infection — coupled with natural ageing — creates added challenges for maintaining good health.
As well as being on treatment, the take home message for reducing the risk of developing co-morbidities related to the brain and heart other systems in the body continues to be the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle including exercise and a balanced diet.
Social networks and peer support systems are valuable contributors to maintaining good health and living longer (and better) with HIV.