Older patients are more likely to be diagnosed with HIV late in the
course of their disease. A person may receive a delayed diagnoses
because health care providers may not always test older patients for
HIV infection, and older patients may mistake HIV symptoms for signs
of normal aging and don’t consider HIV as a possible cause they should
discuss with their provider. Stigma is also a concern because it can
have a negative impact on the quality of life and may prevent a
patient from disclosing their HIV status or seeking the health care
and social services needed. The efficacy of ARVs has decreased the
probability of AIDS-defining illnesses, but many HIV-associated
non-AIDS co-morbidities occur frequently in older people with HIV,
such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, renal disease, and cancer.
HIV and ARVs can also have effects on the brain. People aging with HIV
can suffer from a range of cognitive, motor, and/or mood disorders.
This conference will discuss the importance of testing and screening
older patients, the complexities of care and treatment and recognizing
conditions that necessitate referral. Participants will also review
legal documents for patients to consider should they become
incapacitated and unable to express their desire for their medical care.