In some ways, the daily lives of people aging with HIV are similar to the lives of all older adults. There is a need to manage concurrent health conditions, cope with the isolation that can sometimes accompany disengagement from the workforce, and take stock of who will provide support if independence wanes.
But normal aging-related issues can be more complex for people living with HIV. It is common for HIV-positive people to live with a greater number of physical, mental or cognitive comorbidities across the lifespan, as compared to their HIV negative counterparts. Financial insecurity resulting from a history of precarious work, and HIV-related stigma, can exacerbate isolation. Uncertainty regarding health changes, the long-term impacts of treatment, and the accessibility of service and supports for ‘seniors’ abounds.
Realize is committed to ensuring that people aging with HIV are supported. Some of our activities include:
- Educating health care and service providers about the needs and experiences of older adults living with HIV
- Sharing up-to-date research findings on topics of relevance to HIV and older adults
- Taking action to address health inequities faced by older adults living with HIV