Depression in Older Black Women with HIV

Depression in Older Black Women with HIV

On February 22, 2020, the American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM), the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), and ACRIA (together, sponsors of the HIV-Age.org website) published the results of a study of the social determinants of depression in older Black HIV-positive women.

The study involved 118 Black women with HIV. Of the 118 women, 106 (89.8%) reported suffering from moderate to severe depression. The team found that the major social determinants of this high frequency of depression were poor health status, a lack of exercise, and low social support.

Depressed african woman sitting on couch. Mature lonely woman sitting at home and looking down. Depressed lady thinking. Solitude concept.

The study team advise that moderate to severe depression afflicts HIV-positive people across age groups, but it can be especially destructive for older PLHIV. In all age groups, health status, exercise, and social support were significant predictors of depression. They advise further that these determinant factors require primary attention to reduce the high frequency of debilitating depression in HIV-positive patients.

The three organizations that sponsor HIV-Age.org seek to address the unique needs and challenges that older adults of diverse populations living with HIV face as they age. As the number of older adults with HIV increases (an estimated 70% of people living with HIV in the U.S. are over the age of fifty), medical personnel and those patients living with HIV need to assess their expectations of a “healthy life expectancy.”

For more information on this study and other latest data and insights into HIV and aging, log on to: http://www.HIV-Age.org

—Reporting by Hank Trout


Hank Trout, Senior Editor, edited Drummer, Malebox, and Folsom magazines in the early 1980s. A long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS (diagnosed in 1989), he is a forty-year resident of San Francisco, where he lives with his husband Rick. Follow him on Twitter @HankTroutWriter.