The Silent Epidemic - Frailty and Aging with HIV.

Academic Article


  • As the number of older adults with HIV increases, this population is experiencing an increased risk for frailty. While there is no single definition or diagnostic criteria for frailty, it is generally recognized as an accumulation of deficits in functional capacity and ability to perform activities of daily living. Frailty may be present in up to half of older adults living with HIV, and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality risk in this group. Frailty in HIV can either be transient, and linked to the status of HIV infection, or resemble a more typical gradual decline in functional capacity. Frailty risk in HIV may be exacerbated by mitochondrial dysfunction, chronic inflammation, and oxidative stress. Several tools have been developed and adapted to assess different domains of frailty, yet medical treatment of this condition can be complex and should consider management of polypharmacy as well as nutrition and exercise interventions. However, few concrete strategies have been developed to prevent or treat frailty in the context of HIV infection. This review summarizes what is currently known about the prevalence, diagnosis, and management of frailty among older adults living with HIV.
  • Published In

    Author List

  • Willig AL; Overton ET; Saag MS
  • Start Page

  • 6
  • End Page

  • 17
  • Volume

  • 1
  • Issue

  • 1