About this Series

Caring for survivors who have lived with HIV for decades is an unexpected joy in the career arc of infectious disease specialists who were thrust into the front lines of the 1980s AIDS epidemic. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 45% of Americans living with HIV are over 50. These patients are now facing a frontier few imagined they would reach: their golden years.

HIV survivors and the thousands of patients over 55 who are newly diagnosed with HIV each year comprise an expanding cohort with specialized needs that overlap infectious disease treatment, geriatric care, and psychosocial intervention. These older adults face numerous potential complications from HIV, including increased risk for cardiovascular, kidney, liver, bone, and cognitive disease, as well as complications brought on by aging.

Experts predict that the population of people living with HIV will increasingly include older adults. San Francisco–area physicians at the famed Ward 86 clinic have launched the multidisciplinary program Golden Compass to address the multifactorial conditions of this group.

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