Original Research

Profile of elderly patients receiving antiretroviral therapy at Newlands Clinic in 2020: A cross-sectional study

Cleophas Chimbetete, Tinashe Mudzviti, Tinei Shamu
Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine | Vol 21, No 1 | a1164 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhivmed.v21i1.1164 | © 2020 Cleophas Chimbetete, Tinashe Mudzviti, Tinei Shamu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 August 2020 | Published: 10 December 2020

About the author(s)

Cleophas Chimbetete, Newlands Clinic, Harare, Zimbabwe
Tinashe Mudzviti, Newlands Clinic Harare, Zimbabwe; and, School of Pharmacy, College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe
Tinei Shamu, Newlands Clinic, Harare, Zimbabwe; and, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland


Background: People living with HIV (PLWH) face new challenges such as accelerated ageing and higher rates of comorbidities including cardiovascular, renal and metabolic diseases as they age.

Objectives: To profile the demographic and clinical characteristics of elderly patients receiving HIV care at Newlands Clinic (NC), Harare, Zimbabwe, as of 01 October 2019.

Methods: A cross-sectional analysis was conducted using clinic data. All patients who were 50 years and older on 01 October 2019 were enrolled. Descriptive statistics (medians, interquartile ranges [IQRs] and proportions) were used to describe patient demographic and clinical characteristics.

Results: Out of 6543 patients undergoing care at NC, 1688 (25.8%) were older than 50 years. The median duration of antiretroviral therapy (ART) was 10.9 years (IQR: 7.1–13). Over 90% of all patients had an HIV viral load below 50 copies/mL. Women were more likely than men to be overweight and obese (32% and 25% vs. 18% and 7%, respectively). Hypertension (41.2%), arthritis (19.9%) and chronic kidney disease (11.6%) were common comorbidities differently distributed based on sex. The most common malignancy diagnosed in women was cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia (68% of cancer burden in women) and Kaposi sarcoma was the leading malignancy in men (41% of cancer burden in men). Nearly 20% of patients had at least two chronic non-communicable comorbidities and 5.6% had at least three.

Conclusion: A high burden of comorbidities was observed amongst HIV-positive elderly patients receiving ART. Age-appropriate monitoring protocols must be developed to ensure optimum quality of care for elderly HIV-positive individuals.


HIV infection; elderly patients; comorbidities; ART; Zimbabwe


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