Many people still believe that HIV infection is confined to young adults, but the patients in these two cohorts were decidedly middle-aged — and experiencing all the same chronic conditions as their uninfected peers, though perhaps at a younger age and greater frequency. Soon, more than half of our HIV-infected patients will be older than 50, which means that as HIV clinicians, we'll be spending an increasing amount of time providing primary care. As Hecht and colleagues noted back in 1999 (Ann Intern Med 1999; 131:136), "optimal care of HIV infection requires a combination of disease-specific expertise and primary care skills and organization." Now may be the time for many of us to take a refresher course in primary care for the HIV provider.
AIDS Clinical Care © 2011 Massachusetts Medical Society