People who have survived many years with HIV, some from the mid-1980s, are often referred to as long-term survivors. Specific needs of long–term survivors with HIV include psychological and emotional concerns relating to grief and loss, particularly for gay men. Older gay men with HIV may struggle with issues such as the interruption of their life plans, maintaining good health and managing their HIV treatments. Although the HIV population in Australia is becoming more diverse, it affects gay men disproportionately, especially those who have lived with the virus long term. There is global and Australian literature documenting that lesbian, gay, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI) experience systemic discrimination within health-care systems and now that many are requiring aged-care services, they are having to confront discrimination and lack of knowledge about their needs when they are at their most vulnerable.
Having a hopeful attitude, being an active participant in health care and having excellent relationships with their health-care team have been associated with long-term survival with HIV. However, the following concerns can be significant for long-term HIV survivors.