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So it is to age with hiv

the increasing number of older people living with hiv. Many of them are, however, a concern for how they will be addressed in the care – at the same time, they often feel good.

In the book ”Live the life” tells the stories of 29 people and some related to how it can be to age with hiv. Thanks to medical progress it is today if a chronic disease and not a death sentence.

the remains of many. It prevents, or complicates, in many cases, the possibility of a good old age for those living with hiv.

The book describes a man, he is 70+, he became infected abroad by a woman. Back in Sweden he became seriously ill. At first he thought that it was a very severe flu, but both the hospital and the health center sent him home. After a doctor has taken a sample of the news came.

It was a shock, " says the man. ”No one can really understand how it feels in the situation. To have hiv was so stigmatized,” he continues. You got a stamp on it. Yet has this man not told their children that he lives with hiv.

He says he feels good today and is not contagious as long as he takes his medications. For him, hiv is no longer something dramatic, but he doesn't tell anyone he has hiv.

Göran Bratt was in 1982, with the to start Venhälsan, the first clinic in Sweden for the testing of gay men who suspected they had any sexually transmitted infection.

Aids was described for the first time in the united states in 1981 after gay men suffered exceedingly high degree of unusual diseases. It was after the French scientists who first described the virus that caused the immunbristen at aids. The first aidsfallet who agreed to confirm in retrospect was a man in what was then the Belgian Congo in the year 1959.

A year after the Venhälsan opened in Stockholm found the French and american scientists almost at the same time the virus was the cause of aids and named it Htlv-3. Another three years later, in 1986, opened a special aidsavdelning at Södersjukhuset in Stockholm in order to take care of those who are ill.

" The one who got aids had an average of only a half a year or maximum a year left in life. It was dreadful to see so many people die, many of them in the beginning of the 30-year-olds. At this time, there were so many vanförställningar about aids and knowledge about how the disease was transferred were very poor – especially in the beginning, " says Göran Bratt.

Göran Bratt was about to start the Venhälsan. To the right an illustration from the book ”Living life – to grow old with hiv”.

turned the development. Then the researchers had succeeded in developing the first antiviral drugs.

– After hiv has been a disease which led to a quick death, it was a revolution that so many are now able to survive. After only a few years old could the particular aidsavdelningarna at our hospitals to close, " continues Göran Bratt.

But he points out that hiv until just a few years ago was often very stigmatizing, and the affected told me not to be happy for colleagues and friends that they had hiv.

But for three-four years ago, the knowledge about those who no longer had any measurable virus levels in the blood was also not infectious. This has later been confirmed in several studies of hiv-negative partners to välbehandlade hiv-positive. This has resulted in a turnaround in the perception of hiv, even if the prejudices are still there.

" Hiv is not unproblematic. Still dare many not be open at their workplaces and with their friends. Colleagues and others may become fearful and do not know how to act. For some who have hiv, it can be difficult to initiate a sexual relationship.

in the book ”Live life”, says that he was very touched when he took the part of the different stories that are in it. Some are anonymous, others stand by their first name.

People living with hiv has the potential to live a long, healthy life if we all help each other today.

" It's been said that anyone can write a best-selling novel – the about his own life. The men and women in the book share generously their experiences, both the good and the less good.

– There is a certain increase in risk for the so-called co-morbidities. It can be about type 2 diabetes, diseases of the heart and blood vessels and depression. But it is a small increase in risk.

– A somewhat healthy lifestyle is the simple answer, " says Göran Bratt.

It is to exercise and to eat a diet that does not contain too much fat and simple carbs, " he says.

With enough exercise, good eating habits, not smoking, and regularly take their medications – then life becomes really good, " says Göran Bratt.

the Book ”Living the life” is included in a three-year project run by Hiv-Sweden financed by the Swedish inheritance fund. The key question has been: What does it mean to age with a chronic infection such as hiv?

follow-up Questions as participants in the project immersed themselves in is have been:

What parts of life are most affected by the hiv and aging?

How does the future look like with regard to hiv and aging?

What can we do to improve the quality of life of people ageing with hiv?

and Anna Andersson runs the project. According to them, lack of experience, research and knowledge about what it means to age with hiv.

– Hiv-awareness must increase in the whole society, they say. With updated knowledge on hiv and its treatment, people living with hiv and conditions to live a long, healthy life if we all help each other today.

the Book, ”Live your Life – to grow old with hiv” is released by Hiv-Sweden. Author: Lars Åberg. Photographer: Martine Castoriano. Read more at:

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