The healthcare system is facing yet another challenge ahead: how to care for seniors living with HIV. A new survey of approximately 1,000 HIV-positive New Yorkers over the age of 50 found that more than half displayed symptoms of depression, much higher than those without the virus that causes AIDS.
In addition to depression, this segment of the population suffers much higher rates of concurrent medical conditions that require care. For example, 91 percent also had at least one other chronic condition, such as arthritis (31 percent), hepatitis (31 percent), neuropathy (30 percent) and high blood pressure (27 percent). Some 77 percent had two or more conditions in addition to their HIV status. Approximately half learned of their HIV status after having progressed to full-blown AIDS, the report showed.