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Disparities and Mental Health Effects of HIV in Older Adults

Overview

This program addresses the interaction among HIV, mental health and health disparities in older adults. The need for such research is driven by the increasing prevalence of mental health problems (both mental disorders and symptom clusters) and the increasing neuropsychiatric co-morbidities in older adults infected with or at risk for HIV infection. Because mental health and neuropsychiatric co-morbidities may differentially impact HIV-related outcomes in certain underserved vulnerable populations (e.g., people with serious mental illness, homeless, prisoners, diverse racial and ethnic groups), the study of the interaction of health disparities with mental health and neuropsychiatric co-morbidities is an area of importance.

Areas of Emphasis

  • Study how health disparities relate to the progression to the major aging phenotypes (normal, premature, cognitive, and successful aging) and how this may affect mental health, neuropsychiatric function, and HIV outcomes in both those infected and those at risk.
  • Evaluate the interaction among neuropsychiatric co-morbidities; age-related cognitive, physical, and functional decline; and HIV disease, and how this is affected by socio-environmental factors and health disparities.
  • Study how health disparities and their effect on identification and treatment of mental health and neuropsychiatric co-morbidities differentially affects HIV-related outcomes in underserved HIV-vulnerable populations.
  • Determine the interaction of health disparities with mental health disorders and/or symptom clusters impact the HIV care continuum from testing to viral suppression.
  • Define the pathways and trajectories accounting for the effects of health disparities on mental health, neuropsychiatric function, and HIV outcomes in older adults.

Contact

David Stoff, Ph.D.
5601 Fishers Lane, Room 9E25
Rockville, MD 20852
240-627-3876, dstoff@mail.nih.gov