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Antiretroviral therapy (ART) helps people with HIV live long, healthy lives. More and more people who have HIV are in their 50s and older. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says about a third of people living with HIV are aged 55 or older1.
Many people with HIV also have to deal with the normal changes of aging. It’s important to think about what those changes mean when you have HIV. You should also stick to your treatment plan and follow up with your health care team. This will help you stay as healthy as possible.
Changes often happen as people get older. This can include high blood pressure, heart, liver or kidney disease, or diabetes. It can also include weight gain or changes in the brain. Some of these happen more often or earlier in people with HIV. You can stay as healthy as you can as you get older by doing things like:
- Not smoking
- Staying as active as you can
- Eating a healthy diet and keeping a healthy weight
- Limiting how much alcohol you drink
- Taking medications as prescribed
- Talking to your doctor before taking vitamins or supplements
- Getting enough sleep
- Maintaining a healthy social connection (friends, family, community)
- Keeping your brain active
People who have been taking ART for years may start experiencing long-term effects. For example, some ART medications can raise cholesterol. A doctor may prescribe a medication to help lower your cholesterol. Your doctor might also prescribe a medication for high blood pressure.
Older people tend to take more medications than younger people. In some cases, medications can interact. This can make one or both of those medications less effective. Keep all your doctors and pharmacist up to date on all your medications. This includes:
- Prescribed medications
- Over-the-counter medications, including:
- Herbal products
They can watch for possible drug interactions and choose the best treatment for you.
CVS Specialty® can help you stay on track and get the best outcomes from your HIV treatment plan. Call us at 1-800-237-2767 to speak to a pharmacist or nurse specially trained in caring for HIV and sexual health.
1CDC. Diagnoses of HIV infection in the United States and dependent areas, 2018 (updated). HIV Surveillance Report 2020;31. Accessed October 7, 2021.
This information is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Talk to your doctor or health care provider about your medical condition and prior to starting any new treatment. CVS Specialty assumes no liability whatsoever for the information provided or for any diagnosis or treatment made as a result, nor is it responsible for the reliability of the content.
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