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Reaching old age with HIV requires extra energy of researchers, care providers a

by Editorial Staff in Health & Body , 12 februari 2011


Ten-point plan of action of the HIV-Association Netherlands for 2011 – 2014

People with HIV live long; a positive result of the effective combination therapy. There are many 40+, 50+ and elderly people living with HIV. This group will grow quickly over the next few years. A longer life comes with a few consequences. People with HIV are more susceptible to several chronic ailments, as a result of long-term HIV-infection and HIV-medication, on top of the normal effects of aging. So people with HIV more often develop comorbidity (the combination of multiple chronic diseases) at a relative young age.


These include cardio-vascular illnesses, oncological, and bone problems, diabetes. But the life expectancy seems equal to people without HIV. Over the past few years we found out that people with HIV can indeed get old, and can use the medication long-term. The Hiv-Verening Nederland (HIV-Association Netherlands) is going to imply the following 10-point plan of action to prepare people with HIV and the care providers and to stimulate further research.


1) Holland needs to initiate more studies of comorbidity amongst people with HIV and the cause of it. The HIV Monitor Foundation can play a part in this. We need more research on early diagnostics as well. HVN is suggesting a special professorial chair for HIV and comorbidity

2) The HVN will inform people with HIV extensively about the new finds in this field, via its magazine HIVnieuws and its website. The HVN will also publish the brochure Positive with information on all rights and requirements in the healthcare system, seen from both the patient’s as well as the care provider’s perspective.

This will be in line with the website www.positiefwerkt.nl about HIV at the workspace, which was launched only last week.

3) The HVN recommends continuing the HIV-treatment in the 25 specialized HIV-treatment centers on the basis of Special Medical Treatments legislation, especially considering the increasing complexity of treatment. In addition the GP will have a responsibility towards the elderly living with HIV.

4) GPs and lots of other care centers and institutions will get to deal with increasing numbers of HIV-positive clients. Their knowledge will not be at the desired level, their attitudes will remain fearful towards patients with HIV. Other people living in the same centre might also respond negatively and fearful. This is a challenge for the HIV treatment centre’s, the public health centers Gags ands the HVN to come up with adequate information and offer extra education courses.

5) The HVN aims to get more people with HIV actively involved in customer boards and neighborhood councils. They can influence the policies, signal problems and include expert services when needed.

6) The HVN aims to increase the attention on the issue of growing old with HIV and comorbidity in the educational system as well as in professional magazines.

7) The HVN participates as an umbrella organization in the CG-Council and the NPCF, and is aiming at a coordinated approach with the Senior Citizen’s Unions and the National Program Senior Care.

8) Many people with HIV have no direct family support system at an older age. Many gay men never created a family and many migrants left their family behind. Some straight people with HIV also found their infection affected their social structure negatively. This underlines the importance of additional care giving, developed over the last decades by buddy-projects, HIV-Migrant Organizations and the HVN. They can expect a considerable increase in demand, so should be assured of support.



9) The HVN will screen all existing assistance and care programs, also focusing on gays and migrants, on adequacy when handling and knowledge on patients and residents with HIV is concerned.

10) The HVN will develop self-management tools with which people with HIV can prepare for getting old with HIV.

This 10-point plan of action will be part of the new Meerjarenplan 2011 – 2014 Experts in leven met hiv (Four-year Plan 2011 – 2014, Experts in Living with HIV) of the HIV-Association Netherlands, which will be published early next year.



 







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