Early diagnosis of HIV in the elderly population: a brief review of the literature


early diagnosis

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Objective: meet through the literature review the main aspects of epidemiology, perception of health professionals regarding the sexuality of the elderly and early diagnosis of HIV in the elderly population. Method: bibliographic references published in scientific journals available online located by PubMed, Medscape, SciELO, Lilacs and websites of UNAIDS and the Health Ministry, from 2000 to 2010, using the keywords: early diagnosis, HIV, SIDA, health professionals, elderly and sexuality, and 28 selected references. Results: The elderly population is part of a group of individuals who have epidemiological peculiarities, which may lead to late diagnosis of HIV, delaying the start of the antiretroviral therapy, and leading to a poor situation of their immune system. It is necessary that health professionals pay attention in this specific population and start to discuss sexuality issues (STD/SIDA) with the elderly. Conclusion: Early diagnosis of HIV among the elderly helps to decrease morbidity and mortality rates of infected patients, thereby increasing their quality and life expectancy.