Studies: Younger HIV patients more isolated, stressed than older patients; life expectancy improving. Hence our social outings Initiative! Re-connection those Isolated with the WORLD!
Even as more advanced antiviral therapies are improving the length and quality of life of people with HIV, those on the younger end of the age spectrum are dealing with more stress and isolation than their older counterparts, according to findings by researchers at Case Western Reserve University that were PUBLISHED in October 2011 in the journal AIDS Care.
The researchers say they believe the study, funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, is the first of its kind designed to quantitatively assess the relationship between age, stress and social isolation in adults living with HIV. They hope to use the baseline data as the launching point for a long-term study of 100 HIV-positive people.
“If we could find a sponsor, I would love to do this for five to 10 years,” said lead author Allison Webel, assistant professor at CWRU’s Francis Bolton School of Nursing. Citing a diverse demographic that includes black and heterosexual female patients, and fewer substance abusers, Webel said, “I think we have a really great population to study here.” The findings are providing a new perspective on previous research that suggested elderly people with HIV have increasingly limited and fragile relationships with their friends. Members of the under-50 crowd, however, may not know anyone else their age dealing with a chronic illness, and so they may suffer more from stigma, Webel said.
The prior studies, she said, “have neglected to look at younger people.” “We tend to think of them as having a tighter-knit friendship circle,” Webel said. “It turns out that wasn’t the case. We found that the older folks had more friendship [ties] than the younger folks.” Webel and her colleagues studied 102 men and women recruited between November 2011 and June 2012 from local HIV-related clinics and service organizations, and a registry of individuals with the illness. Participants ranged in age from 18 to 64, with the groups equally divided into younger than 50 and over 50, an age cutoff that is frequently used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in HIV/AIDS statistics.
The majority of the study participants were black. The average age was 48 years old. Most participants also were single, low-income and living with HIV for nearly 14 years. Men and women were equally represented. Using a heart monitor, exercise and sleep diaries, and surveys to measure perceived and physiologic stress, they found: *Those under 50 felt more disconnected from family and friends, and experience more stigma, than older people. They may also feel blamed by others for their illness and avoid people because they are sick. *The over-50 group had more-developed social networks that served as good sources of support.
*Participants reported feeling 30 to 40 percent more stress than non HIV-infected populations. Women with HIV were especially susceptible to stress. Older people reported less stress than their younger counterparts. While the area has “phenomenal” health care, Webel said, more can always be done “to help [patients] link up with a truly supportive network that may impact their physiological health, too.” That extra knowledge will be even more crucial in the future, given that people are living longer with HIV. A study published in December in the journal PLOS One, showed that an HIV-positive 20-year-old in the United States or Canada who is being treated with antiviral therapy might well live into his early 70s, which is close to the life expectancy of a healthy 20-year-old in the general population.
The findings, from researchers at the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and the North American AIDS Cohort Collaboration on Research and Design, are based on current patterns of antiviral therapy use among nearly 23,000 HIV-positive participants observed from 2000 to 2007. Changes in life expectancy from that period were then evaluated by selected socio-demographic and clinical characteristics, such as drug use history and immune cell counts. Life expectancy was lower for individuals with a history of injection drug use, those who were non-white, and those whose CD4 count (a count of cells that measures a person’s immune health) were lower at the time of starting the therapy compared to those who started at a higher count. Differences by sex and HIV transmission risk group also remain.
“The marked increase in life expectancy at age 20 from 36.1 years in 2000–2002 to 51.4 years in 2006–2007 is a testament to the improvements and overall success of [antiviral therapy],” the authors write. “However, large differences in life expectancy persist between certain sub-groups of patients.“Future work should consider specific reasons for these life expectancy gains, overall and within each sub-group … [and] should consider quality of life, as the proportion of individuals aging with HIV continues to grow.” The most recent life expectancy data for the United States is from 2011; babies born that year have an average life expectancy of 78.7 years, according to the CDC.
FRIENDS OF FAMILY FOUNDATION, CAN AND WILL WALK WITH YOU THROUGH YOUR ADAPTATION AND CONCERNS BEING NEWLY DIAGNOSED; WE HELP THE HIV/AIDS COMMUNITY BREAK THROUGH THE FEARS AND CONCERNS.
FRIENDS OF FAMILY FOUNDATION is for the purpose of providing resources of all kinds, directly to the most isolated. We are committed to fulfilling the needs of both the health and aiding in location of affordable, safe and quality housing as the needs of the HIV/AIDS population grow to be among our communities most crucial population in need. We are determined to develop within the mind, seeking to always be healthier, a stress relaxed mind for their attitude towards living healthier... longer! We provide counseling services, Referral of assistance to local assistance prepared to address your individual concerns, we ourselves may be unable to provide. Care of plan introduction to help assist the needs of the individual. If furniture, appliances or other house hold needs exist, we make every attempt within our resources to remedy those issues. We take aim at isolation and stigma!
We encourage EVERYONE with great spirit. to contribute in any way possible (credit card or cash donations, volunteering, assist with fund raising events).
Join us in this wonderful opportunity of compassionately caring for a segment of our community which is too often kept in the corner.... rarely on the floor during discussion. We are blessed to announce our community response to assist the HIV/AIDS community of the Greater Daytona Beach Area: The Friends of Family Foundation.
This is where the Friends of Family Foundation steps in. When there is NO ONE to turn to; with our referral base and the generosity of our donors, we connect others with medical needs base of introduction. Please help us springing into action and to do what is needed; we shall do all in our power to assure some quality of life for those in our community coping with HIV/AIDS. This is why EVERYONE'S contributions, whether financially or through volunteerism, are so important and NEEDED! We provide both spiritual and practical positive influence.
WE LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR GENEROUS TIME OF VOLUNTEERISM AND DONATIONS, THANK YOU FOR HELPING REMAIN AFLOAT ND FULFILL THE DAILY CHALLENGES OF "OF GROUP MEMBERS .
Walk in Faith, Go in Grace and know you are loved,
Pastor Mark Rubinoff, Director