Perceived advantages and disadvantages of age among older HIV-infected adults

Karolynn Siegel, Victoria Raveis, Daniel Karus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Semistructured interviews were conducted with 63 HIV-infected late middle-age and older adults (i.e., age 50 or older). An analysis of the narrative material revealed a variety of themes that reflected participants' beliefs about how their older age advantaged and/or disadvantaged them in living with this disease. Themes reflective of perceived advantages included (1) with age comes wisdom; (2) older people do not feel as cheated; (3) with age comes greater respect for health and life; (4) with age comes patience, contentment, and moderation; (5) older people are less psychologically threatened by disability and fatigue; and (6) older people can focus more on their own needs. Themes reflective of perceived disadvantages included (1) older people's bodies are more worn down and less resilient, (2) older people are more socially isolated, (3) older people get less sympathy and are judged more harshly, (4) doctors set higher goals when treating younger patients, and (5) older people are too compliant and conservative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686-711
Number of pages26
JournalResearch on Aging
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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