Impact of age and HIV on use of non-HIV meds: early results on health care use in the POPPY study

Cover of BHIVA 2015 ProgrammeSimon Collins, HIV i-Base

Early data from the UK POPPY study reported on use of health service and non-HIV drugs in HIV positive people older than 50 compared to two control groups: HIV positive people younger than 50 and HIV negative people older than 50, both matched by race, gender, sexuality and region. [1]

The UK POPPY study is an ongoing longitudinal observational cohort study looking at the impact of HIV on ageing. Notable in the design is the aim of establishing an HIV negative cohort that is well matched for the confounding lifestyle factors that complicate many other studies looking at HIV and ageing.

Alan Winston from Imperial College, presented early results for 540 people: n= 306 HIV+ >50 years; 136 HIV+ <50 years and 98 HIV negative >50 years. The full study plans to enroll 2000 participants.

The older HIV positive group had highest use of non-HIV medication (38% vs 21% vs 24%; p=0.0003) and higher use of analgesics (8.8% vs 5.9% vs 2.0%; p=0.06) compared to the younger HIV positive and older HIV negative groups, respectively.

Use of health services was high in all groups, with more 70% in all groups seeing their GP in the previous year (p=0.32, NS). Other significant differences included that older HIV positive people were significantly more likely to have had a hospital procedure (28% vs 13% vs 12%; p=0.0001), and younger HIV positive people to have seen a psychiatrist (16% vs 24% vs 11%; p=0.03).


The significance of some of the differences highlights the importance of supporting the full study.

POPPY is also collaborating in the European COBRA study that is looking at impact of HIV on ageing. [2]


  1. Healthcare utilization and non-antiretroviral medication use in people living with HIV over and under 50 years of age compared to matched controls: the Pharmacokinetics and Clinical Observations in People over Fifty (POPPY) study. 21st Annual Conference of the British HIV Association (BHIVA), 21–24 April 2015, Brighton. Oral abstract O6.
  2. COBRA study: Co-morbidity in Relation to AIDS.

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