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Geriatric Assessments and Association With VACS Index Among HIV-Infected Older Adults in San Francisco

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To perform geriatric assessments in older HIV-infected adults in San Francisco and examine the association with age and the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) index scores.


A cross-sectional study was conducted from 2012 to 2014 among HIV-infected patients ≥50 years at 2 San Francisco-based HIV clinics. We evaluated 4 health domains: (1) physical health and function (activities of daily living), instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), falls, gait speed, (2) social support (physical and perceived support, loneliness), (3) mental health (depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder) and cognition, and (4) behavioral and general health (antiretroviral adherence and quality of life). Contingency table and rank-sum analyses examined associations between these domains with age and VACS index scores.


Three hundred fifty-nine patients completed assessments (median age 57; 85% male; 57% white; 72% >high school education). On functional assessment, 39% reported dependence with ≥1 IADL, and 40% reported falls in the previous year. Fifty-eight percent experienced loneliness, 60% the lowest levels of perceived social support, 55% depression, and 12% posttraumatic stress disorder. Forty percent had possible mild cognitive impairment. Thirty percent reported poor or fair quality of life. Older age was associated with lower CD4 counts, balance problems, slower gait, lower anxiety, poorer general health, and higher antiretroviral adherence. VACS Index score was associated with dependence in ≥1 IADL and antiretroviral adherence.


In a large sample of older HIV-infected adults, multiple significant aging-related conditions were identified. Integrating geriatric assessment tools into HIV/AIDS clinical care may help target interventions to optimize clinical care and quality of life for older HIV-infected individuals.
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Keywords: HIV; and social support; functional status; geriatrics; mental health

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: ,

Publication date: 15 August 2016

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