HIV and Aging

HIV and Aging - picture of women

Older Americans who are diagnosed with HIV are more likely to be diagnosed in later stages, attributing symptoms to normal signs of aging. This means that treatment is more limited in effectiveness. It is further complicated by medicine contraindications for conditions that occur more often in later life. Philadelphia’s HIV and Aging Task Force conducted research and made recommendations in 2017. Know your status, practice safe sex, communicate with your doctor and partners, and educate yourself and others! Due to specific concerns for people who are aging with HIV, or newly diagnosed at an older age, support services are particularly important. The LGBT Elder Initiative was part of the task force that collected this information and is our co-host for the Reunion Project tomorrow. This is a free event for long-term survivors of HIV/AIDS including community reflections, speakers, fun activities, food, and more! Register Now.

HIV and Aging Infographic
Infographic from Philadelphia’s HIV & Aging Task Force; LGBT Elder Initiative and Philadelphia corporation for aging, from 2017


HIV and Aging

  • An increasing number of older Americans are living with HIV/AIDS.
  • Take a moment to learn about the disease and how to protect yourself.

Aging and sexuality

  • 73% of adults age 57-64 engage in sexual activity
  • 53% adults age 65-74 engage in sexual activity
  • 26% adults age 75-84 engage in sexual activity
  • 69% of LGBT older adults were sexually active within the last year
  • Not all elders practice safer sex!
  • Did you know sexual behavior is alive and well among older adults!

What to Do

  • Know your status: test early and often! To find a testing site near you, visit
  • Educate, Educate, Educate: Know about risky behaviors, prevention methods, and the status of your partners.
  • Protect yourself: Use condoms consistently and correctly!
  • Communicate: Share your status and ask questions with your doctor and partners.


Poverty is a driver of HIV infection

PHL has the second-highest rate of poor older adults of the 10 largest US Cities.

71% of older Action Wellness clients live below the poverty line

Older Adult Action Wellness clients were 4 times as likely as other adults (25-49) to have multiple co-occurring conditions

HIV and AIDS in Philadelphia

  • 32% people living with HIV in PHL are over 50
  • 52% people living with AIDS in PHL are over 50
  • Early detection is critical
  • 18% of new HIV diagnoses in PHL are 55+
  • 38% of new AIDS diagnoses in PHL are 55+

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Spotlight On

Karam Mounzer, MD

Dr. Mounzer identified two major gaps in the care of patients with HIV/hepatitis C (HCV) co-infection, and the complexity of multidrug-resistant HIV treatment. He is involved with many clinical trials focusing on drug development and better understanding of HIV immunopathogenesis with the Wistar Institute. He is involved in teaching and mentoring.

Learn More about Spotlight On
Dr. Karam Mounzer

Dr. Mario Cruz

Dr. Mario CruzDr. Cruz is a board certified pediatrician who serves as the Medical Director for our Pediatrics and Adolescent Health Center. He has presented and/or published in the fields of community violence and domestic violence prevention, quality improvement, behavioral health, curriculum development and mentorship. In 2019 he received the Greater Philadelphia Social Innovation Award for Innovations in Healthcare.

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