Cancer and the 'other' noncommunicable chronic diseases in older people living with HIV/AIDS in resource-limited settings: A challenge to success

Lisa R. Hirschhorn*, Sylvia F. Kaaya, Philip S. Garrity, Elena Chopyak, Mary C S Fawzi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Objective: There is considerable research around the morbidity and mortality related to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), particularly cardiovascular disease and diabetes, among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in resource-richer settings. Less is known about the burden and appropriate management of NCDs, particularly 'other' NCDs including cancer, renal, pulmonary, neurocognitive and mental health conditions, among older PLWHA in resource-limited settings (RLSs). We undertook a literature review of these other NCDs to explore what is currently known about them and identify areas of further research. Methods: Systematic literature review of published manuscripts and selected conference abstracts and reports. Results: Although there is growing recognition of the importance of these NCDs among the aging population of PLWHA in RLSs, significant gaps remain in understanding the epidemiology and risk factors among older PLWHA in these settings. Even more concerning is the limited available evidence for effective and feasible approaches to prevention, screening and treatment of these conditions. The burden of these NCDs is related to both the aging of the population of PLWHA and an increased risk due to HIV infection, other comorbidities associated with HIV infection or transmission risk and underlying risk factors in the general community. Results from resource-richer settings and RLSs highlight malignancies, neurocognitive and mental health as well as renal disease as the most significant challenges currently and likely to increase in the future. Conclusion: Although some lessons can be taken from the growing experience with NCDs in older PLWHA in resource-richer settings, additional research is needed to better understand their risk and impact and identify optimal models of care to effectively address this challenge in the areas where the majority of older PLWHA will be receiving care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S65-S75
Issue numberSUPPL.1
StatePublished - Jul 31 2012


  • Africa
  • HIV
  • aging
  • cancer
  • neurocognitive dysfunction
  • noncommunicable chronic diseases
  • osteoporosis
  • renal disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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