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Behavioral prevention study gauges HIV/AIDS and depression in the older US population

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According to the National Institute of Health (NIH, 1997) the number of older Americans with HIV or AIDS is growing. Cumulative estimated number of HIV/AIDS cases in the US for ages 50-54 was 56,950. Furthermore, the number of newly-infected persons 65 years and older has grown considerably in the last ten years. Several reports indicate that the attitudes and knowledge of older Americans appears be less responsive compared to other age cohorts (CDC, 2003, 2007). This may be attributed to the lack of prevention programs geared towards older persons and physician comfort levels with geriatric patients in discussing sexuality. While it is important to attribute this longevity to the emergence of highly active antiretroviral therapy, consideration must also be made for the mental well-being of this cohort, as evidenced by the effectiveness of antiretroviral chemotherapy and the prevalence of depressive disorders unique to older populations. The unique co-morbidity of clinical depression and HIV/AIDS presents unique challenges to the physician and other healthcare providers. The NIH awarded $1.6 million to the University of Ohio Health Psychology Program in 2006 to examine how older Americans are coping with HIVAIDS.

Keywords: AIDS; HIV; aging; behavior

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09540120701842761

Affiliations: CEO, Projects in Motion USA® CCR & Projects in Motion USA® LLC, Bronx, NY, US,NYU School of Medicine in New York,Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York,

Publication date: October 1, 2008

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