Background/introduction As the number of new HIV diagnoses in adults aged ≥50 years is increasing, the effectiveness of HIV services in meeting the needs of this group warrants exploration.
Aim(s)/objectives Exploring HIV service provision for adults diagnosed with HIV at age ≥50 years, from the perspectives of service users and healthcare professionals (HCP).
Methods Qualitative interviews with nine adults (age range 50–67 years) diagnosed with HIV at age ≥50 years and 12 sexual health/HIV HCP.
Results Service users reported a generally outstanding level of care delivery, and considered themselves to have a greater control of their health following diagnosis, primarily due to an increased level of support and general health monitoring (e.g. frequent blood pressure checks, blood tests, and regular follow-ups). Some service users believed their life-expectancy may have improved after diagnosis. Perceived advantages were identified for older service users with HIV compared with the general older population, including earlier detection of general health problems. However, services in low HIV prevalence areas were commonly considered to be youth-orientated. The targeting of sexual health/HIV resources towards younger people was identified as a key contributor to the high proportion of older adults diagnosed at a late stage of disease. Late HIV diagnosis was associated with a lack of awareness or acknowledgement of personal risk.
Discussion/conclusion Once diagnosed, older adults report receiving exceptional HIV care and support. However, to promote early HIV detection, HIV awareness needs to increase across all age groups.
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