Prevention campaigns to focus more on generation 50+

New HIV infections on the rise among older people

A report in the medical journal The Lancet HIV shows that HIV diagnoses are increasing in the older population. During the period under review (2004 to 2015), 54,000 new diagnoses were recorded among people over 50 and 312,000 among people between 15 and 49. The figures show that although HIV incidence among younger people are around six times higher, the rate in that cohort stays constant, whereas it is rising by 2.1 percent in the older population.

Moreover, HIV in older people tends to be diagnosed at a later stage than with younger people, which increases the risk of transmission and mortality.

Dr. Lara Tavoschi of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) thinks that this trend in generation 50+ could be due to a lower awareness of HIV, as well as to a misperception of the risk of becoming infected. The idea is to start offering more testing for this age group and to target it more intensely with prevention and educational programmes.


Tavoschi, L. et al. (2017): New HIV diagnoses among adults aged 50 years or older in 31 European countries, 2004–15: an analysis of surveillance data. The Lancet HIV, online edition. Retrieved November 21, 2017, from

Pharmazeutische Zeitung (2017): HIV: Immer mehr Ältere infiziert. Retrieved November 21, 2017, from