Years Living with HIV Infection Mediates Physical and Mental Health

A cross-sectional study assessed 3258 adults (2248 MSM, 373 heterosexual men, and 637 women) with HIV in the UK. Median age was 45, 56% reported physical symptoms of distress; 27% depression; 22% anxiety; 38% functional problems. They found that the prevalence of depression and anxiety decreased with age while functional problems increased with age. There was no association between age and physical symptoms of distress. Longer duration of living with HIV infection was strongly associated with higher prevalence of physical distress symptoms, depression, anxiety, and functional problems. Across various age sub-groups, health-related functional problems were more common with older adults (≥ 60 years). Overall quality of life decreased with age. No significant differences due to gender/sexual orientation were found. These findings support the hypothesis that time since HIV diagnose and age are factors that mediate both psychological and physical health of older adults living with HIV.

Summary by Stephen Karpiak PhD.

McGowan, et al. “Age, time living with diagnosed HIV infection, and selfrated health.” HIV medicine 18.2 (2017): 89-103. https://doi.org/10.1111/hiv.12398

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