Older HIV-infected adults: complex patients— geriatric syndromes (II)

  • L. BertagnoliEmail author
  • P. Iannuzzi
  • S. Ciccone
  • M. Canevelli
  • E. Marzetti
  • G. Guaraldi
  • M. Cesari
Special Article


With the widespread adoption of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), HIV infection starts to be considered one of the many chronic illnesses of advanced age. A growing proportion of the affected patients is presently older than 50. It has been suggested that HIV infection may today represent a model of accelerated and accentuated ageing. The need for a closer collaboration between geriatricians and HIV physicians is being growingly recognised to better address the priorities and needs of HIV patients. The final aim behind the generation of such synergies resides in the design of personalised plans of interventions. These plans should stem from the results of a comprehensive assessment of the individual spanning clinical, environmental, and psychosocial domains. Through the early identification of stressors and risk factors potentially disrupting the homeostatic balance of frail patients (including those living with HIV), it might be possible to protect the “biologically old” (but not necessarily “chronologically old”) HIV-infected people from developing detrimental geriatric syndromes. In this article, specific features making the ageing HIV population of special interest for geriatric medicine, and the importance of a multidisciplinary model of care are described. The final objective is to stress how the only way for adequately tackling the multifaceted frailty condition of people with HIV is to implement novel models of care based on the comprehensive geriatric assessment.


HIV Geriatrics Ageing Comprehensive geriatric assessment Frailty Geriatric syndromes 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organisation or entity with any financial interest in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript. This study is not under consideration or has not been previously published elsewhere, and its contents have not been anticipated by any previous publication/presentation. All the authors have read and agreed to the manuscript as written.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Not applicable since the article is a review of existing literature


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Copyright information

© European Geriatric Medicine Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geriatric UnitFondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore PoliclinicoMilanItaly
  2. 2.Department of Neurology and Psychiatry“Sapienza” UniversityRomeItaly
  3. 3.Department of Geriatrics, Neurosciences and OrthopaedicsFondazione Policlinico Universitario “Agostino Gemelli”RomeItaly
  4. 4.Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences for Children and AdultsUniversity of Modena and Reggio EmiliaModenaItaly
  5. 5.Department of Clinical Sciences and Community HealthUniversity of MilanMilanItaly

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