Reviews in Clinical Gerontology

Review Article

HIV and ageing: what the geriatrician needs to know

T Levetta1 c1, J Wrighta1 and M Fishera2

a1 Department of Elderly Medicine, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, UK

a2 Department of HIV/GUM, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, UK


The transformation of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from a rapidly fatal disease to a chronic manageable illness has resulted in annual increases in the numbers of people living with HIV. The HIV cohort is therefore ageing, with numbers of older adults with HIV climbing, through both prolonged survival and late acquisition of the disease. Associated with ageing is an accumulation of HIV-associated non-AIDS related co-morbidities, creating a complex patient group affected by multi-morbidity along with polypharmacy, functional decline and complex social issues. With this in mind, this review seeks to explore areas where HIV (diagnosed or undetected) may impact on the work of clinical geriatricians.

(Online publication November 27 2013)

Key words:

  • HIV;
  • ageing;
  • geriatrics;
  • review


c1 Address for correspondence: Dr Tom Levett, Department of Elderly Medicine, Nigel Porter Unit, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Eastern Road, Brighton BN2 5BE. Email: or