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Revisiting Successful Aging With HIV Through a Revised Biopsychosocial Model

An Update of the Literature

Vance, David E., PhD, MGS*; Blake, Barbara J., PhD, RN, ACRN, FAAAN; Brennan-Ing, Mark, PhD; DeMarco, Rosanna F., PhD, RN, PHNA-BC, FAAN; Fazeli, Pariya L., PhD; Relf, Michael V., PhD, RN, AACRN, ACNS-BC, CNE, FAAN

Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care: January-February 2019 - Volume 30 - Issue 1 - p 5–14
doi: 10.1097/JNC.0000000000000029
Research Article

The concept of successful aging was recognized only recently by HIV researchers because people living with HIV (PLWH) in the early epidemic were not expected to survive. With the introduction of antiretrovirals that block viral replication, PLWH are now aging with HIV. Given the complex nature of HIV within the social, economic, and political climates in which it occurs, a holistic model of successful aging is needed to guide researchers and clinicians. Several overarching models exist, but must be updated for rapidly advancing HIV and aging research agendas. We provide an updated, adapted, and integrated biopsychosocial model of successful aging with HIV based on the principles of Baltes and Baltes (1998) on 8 essential components of successful aging: (a) length of life, (b) biological health, (c) mental health, (d) cognitive efficiency, (e) social competence, (f) productivity, (g) personal control, and (h) life satisfaction. Clinical practice and research implications are highlighted.

David E. Vance, PhD, MGS, is a Professor and Interim Associate Dean for Research, School of Nursing, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA. Barbara J. Blake, PhD, RN, ACRN, FAAN, is an Associate Professor, WellStar School of Nursing, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia, USA. Mark Brennan-Ing, PhD, is a Senior Research Scientist, Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging, Hunter College, City University of New York, and an Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor, Rory Meyers College of Nursing, New York University, New York, New York, USA. Rosanna F. DeMarco, PhD, RN, PHNA-BC, FAAN, is a Chair and Professor of Nursing, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Pariya L. Fazeli, PhD, is an Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA. Michael V. Relf, PhD, RN, AACRN, ACNS-BC, CNE, FAAN, is an Associate Professor of Nursing and Global Health, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA, and Visiting Scholar, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA.

Corresponding author: David E. Vance, e-mail:

Sponsorships or competing interests that may be relevant to content are disclosed at the end of this article.

© 2019 Association of Nurses in AIDS Care
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