Posts tagged ‘medication’

February 27, 2011

The Toronto Star: HIV/AIDS and accelerated aging.

Toronto Star, February 27, 2011

A really interesting and thought provoking article in the Toronto Star by Susan Pigg looking at the  phenomenon of accelerated aging in people with HIV/AIDS and on medication. Never even heard about it before.

“Toronto’s HIV/AIDS experts and activists are growing increasingly alarmed by “a hidden epidemic” — infected people who have lived decades longer than anyone imagined and are being hit with a host of aging illnesses in their 30s, 40s and 50s. They include dementia, cardiovascular and liver disease, cancers, diabetes, osteoporosis, emphysema and kidney problems.

Researchers are still puzzling over the reasons — whether it’s the disease itself, the long-term effects of the medications, or it’s that compromised immune systems are simply breaking down.

“HIV is no longer a death sentence, it’s a chronic disease,” says Dr. Ann Stewart, medical director at Canada’s first free-standing HIV/AIDS hospice, Casey House. Doctors used to urge patients to get their affairs in order. Now they talk about the likelihood of living to retirement.

“That’s a message of hope,” says Stewart. “But what exactly that means is also a big experiment.”

Read the rest in the Toronto Star here.