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Disparities and Mental Health Effects of HIV in Older Adults


This program addresses the interaction between HIV/AIDS and aging as well as other co-morbidities. The need for such research is driven by the increasing prevalence of older people infected with or at risk for HIV infection, and by aging-associated neuropsychiatric co-morbidities that affect or are affected by HIV infection. Because co-morbidities and HIV may differentially affect certain underserved vulnerable populations (e.g., people with serious mental illness, homeless, prisoners, diverse racial and ethnic groups), the impact of co-morbidities on HIV-related health disparities is an area of importance. This program fosters interdisciplinary research (including epidemiology, psychology, psychiatry, development, geriatrics, neurobiology) at multiple stages, from basic behavioral through translational, and from local to global.

Areas of Emphasis

  • Effects of HIV infection in the aging population and major aging phenotypes (premature, normal, and successful aging) addressing both those infected and those at risk.
  • Interaction of mental health issues (e.g., neuropsychiatric co-morbidities); age-related cognitive, physical, and functional decline; and HIV disease, with its related behavioral and central nervous system manifestations.
  • Development of integrated intervention approaches to management of co-morbidities (i.e., HIV infection, mental illness, substance abuse), co-infections (e.g., HIV/tuberculosis, HIV/hepatitis), and complications (e.g., neurocognitive manifestations and medical conditions).
  • Longitudinal research to better understand the temporal development and causal relationships between HIV infection and co-morbid conditions.
  • Research focusing on underserved HIV-vulnerable populations, including people with serious mental illness, prisoners, homeless persons, and individuals from diverse subgroups (racial and ethnic, disabled, disadvantaged), with special attention to associated co-morbidities in these populations to address HIV-related disparities in health outcomes.


Pim Brouwers, Ph.D. (Acting)
5601 Fishers Lane, Room 9E21
Rockville, MD 20852