The Canadian population is aging. Statistics Canada estimates that by 2030, 23% of Canadians will be seniors (age 65 and older), as compared to 15.3% in 2013. The number of people living and aging with HIV is also increasing. People living with HIV who have access to medication are living longer thanks to improved treatment options, and an increasing number of people are diagnosed with HIV later in life.
The intersection of HIV and aging is complex and synergistic, and involves such factors as the natural aging process, HIV infection itself, the treatment and management of HIV with medications, co-infections and co-morbidities, modifiable risk factors, and the social determinants of health.
The increasing number of people aging with HIV, and the complexity of aging with HIV, presents new challenges for care, treatment and support. realize is working as a catalyst, bringing together the HIV sector and the aging sector to respond to these challenges. Our work seeks to:
- raise awareness and promote understanding of the needs, wishes and experiences of older adults living with or vulnerable to HIV, as informed by the perspectives of people living with HIV, researchers, educators, service-providers, and policy-makers;
- stimulate the creation and exchange of knowledge about aging with HIV;
- identify and promote potential partnerships, and;
- improve the lives of people aging with HIV by promoting the integration of rehabilitation into their care, treatment and support.