Failing to address the psychological trauma experienced by many older people living with HIV/AIDS will make it difficult, if not impossible, to end the epidemic, according to a Rutgers study. Once considered a death sentence, HIV/AIDS has evolved into a manageable illness – with the availability of antiretroviral treatments – and people with the disease are living longer. But as this population ages, they are facing mental and psychosocial health challenges that could have a profound impact on their well-being – and on the trajectory of the virus.
“Our findings support the need to target post-traumatic stress disorder and substance dependence and use among older HIV/AIDS-positive people and suggest that resilience might help increase adherence to antiretroviral therapy regimes,” said Kristen D. Krause, an instructor of urban health at the Rutgers School of Public Health and lead author of the study, which was published in the Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health. To read the full story.