Elderly HIV-positive women: A gender-based analysis from the Multicenter Italian “GEPPO” Cohort

on behalf of the GEPPO (GEriatric Patients living with HIV/AIDS: a Prospective Multidimensional cOhort) Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background HIV-positive patients are facing age-and disease-related comorbidities. Since gender differences in viro-immunological, clinical and therapeutic features have been described, aim of this analysis was to explore such differences in elderly HIV-positive females compared to males coming from the same cohort. Design Cross-sectional study. Setting Ten Infectious Diseases Center participating to a new multicenter Italian geriatric Cohort aiming at describing health transition over time in HIV-positive individuals. Participants HIV-positive patients aged ≥65 years old. Measurements We recorded clinical, viro-immunological and therapeutical data. Results We included 210 women (17%) out of 1237 patients. Compared to males, elderly females were less likely to present a HIV-RNA <50 copies/mL (74.3% vs. 81.8%, OR 0.64, 95%CI 0.44–0.93); they showed higher CD4+/CD8+ ratio (p = 0.016). Combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) strategies were similar between genders (p>0.05), although women were less likely to be treated with protease Inhibitors (PIs) (p = 0.05); specifically, in triple-drug regimens females received less PIs (28% vs 38% p = 0.022) and more integrase inhibitors (30% vs. 20% p = 0.012). Bone disease was more common in females (p<0.001) while males presented more frequently cardiovascular disease (CVD) (p<0.001). In females with bone disease, PIs and boosted regimens (38% vs. 53.7% p = 0.026 and 30.4 vs 44.0% p = 0.048 respectively) were prescribed less frequently. Polypharmacy was common and similar in both genders (20% vs. 22.8%, p = >0.05). A higher use of lipid-lowering drugs (20.5% vs. 14.8%, p = 0.04) was observed in females and yet they were less likely to receive anti-thrombotic agents (18.6% vs. 26.3%, p = 0.019) even when CVD was recorded (57.1% vs. 83.1%, p = 0.018). In multivariate analysis, we found that female gender was independently associated with a higher CD4+/CD8+ ratio but not with virological suppression Conclusions Elderly HIV-positive women display a worse virologic response despite a better immune reconstitution compared to males. The burden of comorbidities as well as the medications received (including cART) may slightly differ according to gender. Our data suggest that more efforts and focused interventions are needed in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0222225
JournalPLoS One
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Elderly HIV-positive women: A gender-based analysis from the Multicenter Italian “GEPPO” Cohort'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this