Increasing proportion of AIDS diagnoses among older adults in Italy.

Longo B, Camoni L, Boros S, Suligoi B.

AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2008 May;22(5):365-71. doi: 10.1089/apc.2007.0168.

We evaluated the impact of AIDS among older persons in Italy and compared these cases with cases among younger persons. The data source was Italy's National AIDS Registry. We considered adults diagnosed with AIDS between 1982 and 2005. Older adults were defined as those aged 50 years or older at diagnosis. Of the total adult cases, 8.8% were among older adults. This proportion increased over time, from 4.9% in 1982-1990 to 15.9% in 2000-2005. Among older adults, the most represented exposure category (80.8%) was sexual intercourse (heterosexual and homosexual). At AIDS diagnosis, older adults, compared to younger adults, had a higher risk of developing AIDS dementia complex or wasting syndrome, and of presenting multiple AIDS-defining illnesses. A significantly lower proportion of older adults were undergoing antiretroviral therapy, compared to younger adults. Among older adults, 67.2% were late testers, compared to 32.8% of younger adults. Most of the older adults acquired the infection through sexual contact; approximately two thirds of them were diagnosed late (i.e., first HIV-positive test 6 months or less before AIDS diagnosis); and only one fourth were undergoing antiretroviral therapy at diagnosis. These observations stress the need to more seriously consider the possibility of HIV infection among older individuals and to collect more detailed information on their sexual behavior.

PMID: 18435593

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.