Purpose of the article: Globally, an estimated 4.2 million people above the age of 50 now have diagnosis of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) infection. Patients with HIV can now survive well into old age. Aging with HIV has been associated with medical illness however neuropsychiatric symptoms including cognitive decline and behavioral dysregulation has been directly associated with aging and having HIV. The article will talk about common neuropsychiatric diagnosis with HIV and discuss some interventions that may be used for successful aging with HIV.
Findings: A detailed literature review using indexed peer reviewed literature using databases such as Medline, PubMed and Cochrane reviews show that untreated HIV illness over a long period of time can both cause both cognitive and behavioral changes as well as precipitate underlying existing illnesses. All providers are encouraged to begin treatment with Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART). Early screening for both behavioral and cognitive disorders is encouraged and timely referrals to mental health professionals is of utmost importance.
Conclusion: Persons with HIV now have increased longevity given newer and more innovative treatment with anti-retroviral treatment (ART). However, persons with HIV are at increased risk for both neurological and psychiatric illness. Early detection, assessment and treatment are key to ensure aging successfully. A collaborative multidisciplinary team comprising of individuals from infectious diseases, mental health, social work and nursing is essential for optimal neuropsychiatric health in older persons with HIV.
HIV, Aging, Behavioral Health, Neurocognitive disorder, ARV, HAART