AIDS Patients Are Living Longer, but Getting Sicker

Survivors hit with 'old age' health problems
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2008 6:02 AM CST
A woman turns away after viewing a painting by British artist Damien Hurst entitled ' HIV Aids, Drugs Combination ' at Sotheby's auction house in London, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2007. Drug treatment has extended...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Revolutionary drug cocktails mean AIDS sufferers are living much longer, but as they age they're suffering from medical problems that significantly lower the quality of those extended lives, the New York Times writes. AIDS survivors are struggling with illnesses usually associated with much older people, including cancers, kidney failure, lung problems and depression, doctors are finding.

Research is just beginning but experts think the combination of damaged immune systems plus side effects from the drugs is overwhelming patients' bodies. “You folks are the first to go through this and we’re learning as we go,” a care worker told a patient, 59, who's suffering far more severe health problems than his 84-year-old father.