Meeting the Needs of People Aging with HIV on the Path to Ending the HIV Epidemic

May 2021 | Sean E. Bland and Jeffrey S. Crowley, for the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law

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“With high-quality care and ongoing treatment, people living with HIV can live long and healthy lives.”

Summary of the brief

More than half of people living with HIV in the United States are aged 50 or older, and a growing number of people live and aging with HIV into their 70s and beyond. Concerted action is needed to meet the needs of older people living with HIV. The burdens of HIV, aging, and related health comorbidities, combined with the social and structural challenges that people aging with HIV face, necessitate a focus on HIV-related outcomes and a comprehensive response aimed at treating comorbidities and improving long-term health and quality of life. The following policy actions are recommended in the issue brief:

  • Develop models of care and prevention for people aging with HIV and train and equip the clinical and non-clinical workforce.
  • Expand opportunities for older people living with HIV to make social connections through community-based programs that address isolation, stigma, and trauma.
  • Maintain Medicare Part D drug access protections (e.g., Six Protected Classes) and expand focus on high-quality care and quality of life.
  • Allocate more funding to programs that support financial security and access to employment, housing, food, and public benefits for the aging HIV population.
  • Promote the meaningful participation of older people living with HIV in the Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) Initiative and broader advocacy efforts.

Download a copy of the brief here.