Group leaders: Dr. Annie Nguyen
1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV infection. The success of combination anti-retroviral therapy (cART) in reducing HIV-related deaths and increasing long-term survival has made it possible for many individuals who acquire HIV to live well into older adulthood. “Older adults” among people living with HIV are conventionally defined as those who are ages 50 and over. In 2014, older adults made up 45% of all people living with HIV, an increase from 24% in 2005. Despite upward trends in life expectancy, older adults living with HIV often experience a complex range of physical, mental, and psychosocial stressors including impaired cognition, chronic conditions, depression and loneliness. The cumulative impact of these multiple stressors on physical health and functioning can threaten the ability of individuals to provide self-care and increases the need for caregiving.
Research is urgently needed to identify factors that mitigate the impact of health and psychosocial stressors on the health and well-being of older adults living with HIV in order to inform effective public health interventions aimed at promoting independent living. Research is also needed to enhance understanding of the caregiving needs and challenges of older adults living with HIV as well as the needs and challenges of the individuals who provide care. Much of the existing research on caregiving in the context of HIV in the U.S. was conducted in the pre-cART era which typically reflected younger populations and more acute, life-threatening caregiving circumstances. Updated research is needed to respond to the changing needs of this population.
This group aims to accomplish the following objectives:
- Bring together a new team of academic, healthcare, and community experts from different institutions and dispersed geographies in southern California.
- Form a collaborative network that will support research that promotes independence for older adults living with HIV and research related to caregiving for older adults living with HIV.
- Discover shared and unique research strengths of each member of the team through targeted activities in order to promote the sharing of scientific and lay expertise.
- Identify potential research projects that incorporate the strengths of team members.
Annie Nguyen, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Family Medicine