As the medications for HIV have gotten more effective, people are living longer with HIV. However, as people living with HIV get older, they are more likely to also develop different problems or diseases, two of which include the viral infection Hepatitis C and Alcohol Use Disorder (alcoholism).

In terms of medical and psychiatric effects, age-related medical conditions (like diabetes, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s Disease) can occur earlier in life in patients living with HIV than those without HIV, and that aging with HIV can lead to higher rates of depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. Liver disease related to alcohol consumption can also help HIV progress faster, and people living with both HIV and alcoholism have a higher risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, depression, stress, and anxiety. Liver damage due to Hepatitis C can also make HIV progress faster and increase depression symptoms.

Moving on to neuropsychological and motor effects, people living with HIV have problems with attention, memory, and complex mental processes. They are also clumsy, have bad balance, and lose fine motor control. People living with alcoholism or Hepatitis C have also experienced a number of these same problems, and studies have shown that HIV and Hepatitis C cause similar cognitive problems.

Read more…