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Re: Including people aged 50 and over in the DHS - HIV [message #1797 is a reply to message #1792] Thu, 03 April 2014 12:00 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
Dr_Mark_Brennan-Ing is currently offline  Dr_Mark_Brennan-Ing
Messages: 1
Registered: April 2014
Location: United States

We fully support and advocate for the inclusion of people age 50 and older in DHS surveys and reporting. As we begin the fourth decade of the HIV epidemic, deaths due to HIV continue to decrease as the number of older adults (those aged 50 years and older) living with HIV steadily increases. This age shift among those with HIV occurs as more and more people gain consistent access to effective treatment.

In 2001, 17 per cent of people with HIV in the U.S. were age 50 or older; by 2008, that figure had risen to 31 per cent. The CDC projects that by 2015 fully one-half of the those with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. will be age 50 or older.

Similar rapid progression has been predicted for sub-Saharan Africa, where it is estimated over 9 million older people will be living with HIV by 2040, constituting 27 per cent of people with the virus. In South Africa prevalence in women aged 55-59 years has increased from 7.7 per cent in 2008 to 12 per cent in 2012. In Kenya the preliminary results of the AIDS Indicator Survey undertaken in 2012 show a significant demographic shift with the highest HIV prevalence seen in the 45-54 year age group. Prevalence among people of this age increased from 7.8 per cent in 2007 to 9.1 per cent in 2012 while prevalence in the younger age groups declined. These data clearly point to the need for a rapid scale-up in appropriate care and support targeted to meet the complex and distinct needs of older people with HIV.

The DHS survey is the key source of data for prevalence estimates and the GARPR indicators. Thus, expanding the survey templates to include people over the age of 49 is crucial to ensuring both a more comprehensive data set that reflects the whole of the HIV epidemic and the evidence base for designing programs and services to meet the prevention and care needs of a burgeoning older population with HIV around the world.

Mark Brennan-Ing, PhD
Director for Research and Evaluation
Center on HIV & Aging
575 Eighth Avenue, Ste. 502
New York, NY 10018
212) 924-3934 ext 131

New York University College of Nursing
New York, NY
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