A new study that compared HIV-positive women over 50 years of age with their younger HIV-infected cohorts found that while the older women were less likely to be sexually active and to report condomless sex with a male partner, those who were sexually active were not as likely to undergo screening for gonorrhea, chlamydia, or syphilis than their younger counterparts. The authors emphasize the importance of reinforcing sexual risk-reduction messages for older patients living with HIV in the study published in Journal of Women's Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Journal of Women's Health website.
The article entitled "Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes among Older Women with HIV" was coauthored by Madeline Sutton, MD, MPH, and colleagues from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and ICF International (Atlanta, GA), and Boston Medical Center (MA). Overall, the group of women over 50 years of age had better HIV clinical status. They were more likely to be on antiretroviral therapy (ART), to be medication adherent, and to have sustained viral load suppression, and they were less likely to report depression.
"While this study reveals some positive findings for older women with HIV in terms of their clinical status, only 42% of the women over 50 years of age reported receiving counseling on HIV/STI prevention by their health care providers," says Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women's Health, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health, Richmond, VA, and President of the Academy of Women's Health. "Continued counseling is essential as women with HIV age, to protect them and their partners."