Concerns about the well-being of older adults living with HIV is an emerging issue in Canada and around the world.
Before the introduction in 1996 of effective anti-retroviral therapies, most people living with HIV did not expect to live long lives. This meant that, for the most part, community-based organizations did not have to concern themselves with the needs of older people living with HIV. Now, however, provided they are diagnosed and treated in time, people living with HIV can long, healthy lives with near-normal life expectancies. This means that service providers in the HIV and aging sectors now have to consider the impact of an aging HIV population.
At a recent community health forum hosted by the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT), which you can view in the webinar below, the experiences of older adults with lived experience of, or vulnerable to, HIV were illustrated by two case examples. These case studies are an attempt to illustrate the realities and challenges facing such adults who require the services of health professionals and community-based organizations. As such, they are designed to showcase not “ideal” interactions but rather interactions that are more likely to be experienced in the “real world”.
These realistic case studies are prefaced by a discussion of the trends with respect to HIV and aging in Canada and about the four groups of older adults affected by or vulnerable to HIV. They are followed by a summary about the programs and services available in Toronto and across Canada that can address some of the issues that come up in the case studies.
Thanks to the three organizations that cooperated on this webinar and gave us permission to repost it on PositiveLite.com: ACT, the Ontario HIV Treatment Network and the Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation.