HIV/AIDS survivors face new health challenges in senior years

Photograph from: Jodie Martinson

Many gay men diagnosed HIV-positive in the 1980s and 1990s​ outlived their prognosis, but are now facing a new set of health challenges in old age.

Dr. Silvia Guillemi is the director of the Clinical Education and Training program at the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. She is also the assistant medical director in the John Ruedy Immunodeficiency Clinic.

Today, people diagnosed HIV-positive can expect to live in to their seventies. But in the early days of the disease, when Guillemi first came to Vancouver, the prognosis was often death.

“There was very little we could offer them for treatments,” she said.

“Unfortunately, many of the young men, and in some cases women, were dying in their early twenties.”

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