Being Poz Often Means Living In Pain

PAIN BACK

According to a new report: “Despite the use of more modern ART [antiretroviral therapy] regimens, older PLWH continue to experience higher rates of pain than similarly-aged HIV-negative participants. Pain was associated with lower employment rates and with high levels of healthcare resource use. Among the two groups of PLWH, current pain was associated with higher depressive symptoms, poorer quality of life and poorer functional status, regardless of age,” say investigators from the UK and Ireland report in the online edition of AIDS.

The report went on to say that, "Little is known about the prevalence and implication of pain among people taking modern ART. To address this research gap, investigators from the Pharmacokinetic and Clinical Observations in People Over Fifty (POPPY) study therefore designed an observational, cross-sectional study involving three groups of people: older (over 50 years) PLWH; younger (below 50 years) PLWH; and older HIV-negative controls. The HIV-negative control group were mostly recruited at sexual health clinics and community settings in order to provide a comparable group to the older group of PLWH. They were matched in terms of age, ethnicity, sexual orientation and geographical location."

AIDS Map says, "The study population consisted of 676 older PLWH, 357 younger PLWH and 295 older controls. Almost all the HIV-positive participants (98 percent) were taking ART. Viral load was undetectable in 90 percent of PLWH and median CD4 cell count was 626 cells/mm3."

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