As the HIV population ages, the proportion of those treated for age-related conditions will steadily rise, making caring for these individuals more complex.

Publishing their findings in The Lancet, researchers conducted a modeling study based on 10,278 HIV-positive participants in the Dutch ATHENA cohort between 1996 and 2010.

They projected that the median age of HIV-positive individuals taking antiretroviral treatment will rise from 43.9 years old in 2010 to 56.6 years old in 2030. During that time, the proportion of those 50 years of age or older will increase from 28 percent to 73 percent.

In 2030, a projected 84 percent of HIV-positive individuals will have at least one age-related non-communicable disease (NCD), including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, osteoporosis and non-AIDS malignancies, compared with 29 percent in 2010. By the latter date, a projected 28 percent will have three more NCDs.

By 2030, 54 percent of people with HIV will receive medication for NCDs, compared with 13 percent in 2010. Twenty percent of those in 2030 will take three or more NCD-related medications. An increasing prevalence of cardiovascular disease and the use of heart-related drugs will drive much of this change.

Forty percent of people with HIV could have complications with the currently recommended first-line treatments for the virus by 2030, owing to drug-drug interactions and inadvisable pairings (known as contraindications) of drugs with NCD treatments.

The study authors concluded that these expected changes mean that “in the near future, HIV care will increasingly need to draw on a wide range of medical disciplines, in addition to evidence-based screening and monitoring protocols to ensure continued high-quality care. These findings are based on a large dataset of HIV-infected patients in the Netherlands, but we believe that the overall patterns will be repeated elsewhere in Europe and North America.”

To read the study, click here.