The National Association of People Living With HIV/AIDS (NAPWA) held its inaugural Think Tank in Sydney on June 24, the results of which were released this week.
The think tank focused on issues related to the ageing HIV population, and about 60 attendees heard 10 speakers present on the topic from a range of perspectives.
David Menadue and Ross Duffin from NAPWA both advocated giving more attention to the issue of ageing among people living with HIV/AIDS, while a number of health professionals spoke about the unique health issues faced by an ageing HIV/AIDS population. Associate Professor John Murray, NCHECR, discussed his finding that older men and women diagnosed with HIV infection have often been undiagnosed longer than younger people diagnosed with the virus, and are therefore more susceptible to AIDS.
James Jansson and Associate Professor David Wilson, NCHECR, presented a challenging future for people living with HIV/AIDS: while they are living longer as a result of anti-retroviral therapy, this also means they are at increased risk of developing cancers, cardiovascular disease, mental health disorders and other problems as they age. They argued that increasingly complex health needs of people living with HIV/AIDS in Australia will have significant implications for the health workforce in the coming decades.