Canadian Journal on Aging / La Revue canadienne du vieillissement


Socio-demographic Profile of Older Adults with HIV/AIDS: Gender and Sexual Orientation Differences  *

David J. Brennana1 c1, Charles A. Emleta2, Sarah Brennenstuhla3, Sergio Ruedaa4 and OHTN Cohort Study Research Team and Staff

a1 Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, Canada

a2 Social Work Program, University of Washington, Tacoma, Washington, U.S.

a3 Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Canada

a4 Ontario HIV Treatment Network, Toronto, Canada


Utilisant des données recueillies par Ontario HIV Treatment Network Cohort Study (OCS), l’objectif principal de cette étude était de décrire les caractéristiques socio-demographiques d’un échantillon de personnes âgées (50 ans et plus) de l’Ontario (n = 1 129) vivant avec le VIH /SIDA. L’objectif secondaire était de comparer quatre sous-echantillons de PVVIH : les femmes (10,6%), les hommes heterosexuels (16,7%), les hommes homosexuels (65,8%), et les hommes bisexuels (6,9%). Ces groupes diffèrent d’une manière significative dans l’âge, l’éducation, le revenu, la nationalité, la race, et le temps passé atteints du VIH. En comparaison à d’autres groupes, les hommes gais et bisexuels (HGB) ont déclaré une stigmatisation plus baisse associée au VIH, et aussi à la stigmatisation sur la divulgation, à la stigmatisation associée à l’image negative de soi, et la stigmatisation associée aux attitudes publiques. HGB ont également signalé une meilleure qualité de vie en ce qui concerne la santé mentale, les scores plus baisses pour la dépression et des scores plus faibles pour l’ inadaptation face à la vie. Ces résultats suggèrent que les services pour les PVVIH plus âgées, y compris la formation sur le VIH pour les prestataires des services pour VIH et les gérontologues, peuvent avoir besoin de répondre aux besoins spécifiques de ces sous-populations.


Using data collected by the Ontario HIV Treatment Network Cohort Study, the primary goal of this study was to describe the socio-demographic characteristics of a sample of older people (age 50 and over) from Ontario (n = 1,129) living with HIV/AIDS (PHAs). The secondary goal was to compare four sub-samples of older PHAs: women (10.6%), heterosexual men (16.7%), gay men (65.8%), and bisexual men (6.9%). These groups differed significantly by age, education, income, nationality, race, and time spent living with HIV. Compared to other groups, gay and bisexual men (GBM) reported lower HIV stigma, disclosure stigma, negative self-image stigma, and concern with public attitude stigma. GBM also reported higher mental health quality of life, lower depression scores, and lower maladaptive coping scores. These findings suggest that services for older PHAs, including training for HIV and gerontological providers, may need to cater to the specific needs of these sub-populations.

(Received July 11 2011)

(Accepted June 08 2012)

Mots clés

  • vieillissment;
  • personnes âgées;
  • santé mentale;
  • profil socio-économique;
  • stigmatisation


  • aging;
  • older adults;
  • mental health;
  • socio-demographic profile;
  • stigma


c1 Correspondence and requests for offprints should be sent to / La correspondance et les demandes de tirés-à-part doivent être adressées à: David J. Brennan, Ph.D. Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work University of Toronto 246 Bloor Street West Toronto, ON M5S 1V4 (


*  Funding for this study was provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) through the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. (Emlet, P.I.). Brennan’s work is supported by an Ontario HIV Treatment Network Scholarship Award. The authors acknowledge other members of the Positive Aging working group who offered guidance and feedback on this study: Trevor A. Hart, Francisco Ibanez-Carrasco, Sean B. Rourke, and Stephanie Karapita. We gratefully acknowledge all of the people living with HIV who volunteered to participate in the OHTN Cohort Study and the work and support of the past and present members of the OCS Governance Committee: Darien Taylor, Dr. Evan Collins, Dr. Greg Robinson, Shari Margolese, Patrick Cupido, Tony Di Pede, Rick Kennedy, Michael Hamilton, Ken King, Brian Finch, Lori Stoltz, Adrian Betts, Colleen Price, Tracey Conway, John MacTavish, Claire Kendall, Anita Benoit, Rosie Thein, Brian Huskins, Les Bowman, Dr. Ahmed Bayoumi, Dr. Clemon George, and Dr. Curtis Cooper. We thank all the interviewers, data collectors, research associates and coordinators, nurses, and physicians who provide support for data collection and extraction. The authors wish to thank the OHTN staff and their teams for data management and IT support (Mark Fisher, Director, IT), and OCS project coordination (Brooke Ellis, OCS Research Coordinator). We also acknowledge the Public Health Laboratories, Public Health Ontario, for supporting record linkage with the HIV viral load database. The OHTN Cohort Study is supported by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

  The OHTN Cohort Study Team consists of Sean B. Rourke (Principal Investigator, University of Toronto and OHTN), Ann Burchell (Co-Principal Investigator, OHTN), Sandra Gardner (OHTN), Sergio Rueda (OHTN), Ahmed Bayoumi and Kevin Gough, St. Michael’s Hospital; Jeffrey Cohen, Windsor Regional Hospital; Curtis Cooper, Ottawa General Hospital; Don Kilby, University of Ottawa Health Services; Mona Loutfy and Fred Crouzat, Maple Leaf Medical Clinic; Anita Rachlis and Nicole Mittmann, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre; Janet Raboud and Irving Salit, Toronto General Hospital; Edward Ralph, St. Joseph’s Health Care; Roger Sandre, Sudbury Regional Hospital; Marek Smieja, Hamilton Health Sciences, McMaster University Medical Centre; and Wendy Wobeser, Hotel Dieu Hospital.The opinions, results and conclusions are those of the authors and no endorsement by the Ontario HIV Treatment Network or Public Health Ontario is intended or should be inferred.