Late HIV Diagnosis Is Substantially Higher in People Over 50

Published: August 4, 2010

People age 50 and older are nearly 2.5 times more likely to be diagnosed late with HIV than younger adults, according to a study published in the August 24 issue of AIDS. What’s more, older people who are diagnosed late are 14 times more likely to die prematurely than people who are diagnosed promptly after infection.

… Smith and her colleagues found that late diagnosis was a serious problem overall, but particularly so for older people. While 48 percent of older adults had a CD4 count less than 200 at the time of diagnosis, this was true of only 33 percent of younger adults. Among men who have sex with men, the number of older men who were diagnosed late was nearly twice that of younger men: 40 percent compared with 21 percent. Older heterosexual women were about 50 percent more likely to present late as well.

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