There is a growing number of older people living with HIV (OPLHIV). While a significant proportion of this population are adults growing into old age with HIV, there are also new infections among OPLHIV. There is a lack of data describing the outcomes of OPLHIV who commenced antiretroviral therapy (ART) after the age of 50 years in sub-Saharan Africa. We conducted a cohort study of patients who enrolled in care at Newlands Clinic in Harare, Zimbabwe, at ages ≥50 years between February 2004 and March 2020. We examined demographic characteristics, attrition, viral suppression, immunological and clinical outcomes. Specifically, we described prevalent and incident HIV-related communicable and non-communicable comorbidities. We calculated frequencies, medians, interquartile ranges (IQR), and proportions; and used Cox proportional hazards models to identify risk factors associated with death. We included 420 (57% female) who commenced ART and were followed up for a median of 5.6 years (IQR 2.4-9.9). Most of the men were married (n = 152/179, 85%) whereas women were mostly widowed (n = 125/241, 51.9%). Forty per cent (n = 167) had WHO stage 3 or 4 conditions at ART baseline. Hypertension prevalence was 15% (n = 61) at baseline, and a further 27% (n = 112) had incident hypertension during follow-up. During follow-up, 300 (71%) were retained in care, 88 (21%) died, 17 (4%) were lost to follow-up, and 15 (4%) were transferred out. Of those in care, 283 (94%) had viral loads <50 copies/ml, and 10 had viral loads >1000 copies/ml. Seven patients (1.7%) were switched to second line ART during follow-up and none were switched to third-line. Higher baseline CD4 T-cell counts were protective against mortality (p = 0.001) while male sex (aHR: 2.29, 95%CI: 1.21-4.33), being unmarried (aHR: 2.06, 95%CI: 1.13-3.78), and being unemployed (aHR: 2.01, 95%CI: 1.2-3.37) were independent independent risk factors of mortality. There was high retention in care and virologic suppression in this cohort of OPLHIV. Hypertension was a common comorbidity. Being unmarried or unemployed were significant predictors of mortality highlighting the importance of sociologic factors among OPLHIV, while better immune competence at ART commencement was protective against mortality.
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