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Purpose of review: This article critically reviews the utility of “phenotypes” as behavioral descriptors in aging/HIV research that inform biological underpinnings and treatment development. We adopt a phenotypic redefinition of aging conceptualized within a broader context of HIV infection and of aging. Phenotypes are defined as dimensions of behavior, closely related to fundamental mechanisms, and, thus, may be more informative than chronological age. Primary emphasis in this review is given to comorbid aging and cognitive aging, though other phenotypes (i.e., disability, frailty, accelerated aging, successful aging) are also discussed in relation to comorbid aging and cognitive aging. Recent findings: The main findings that emerged from this review are as follows: (1) the phenotypes, comorbid aging and cognitive aging, are distinct from each other, yet overlapping; (2) associative relationships are the rule in HIV for comorbid and cognitive aging phenotypes; and (3) HIV behavioral interventions for both comorbid aging and cognitive aging have been limited. Summary: Three paths for research progress are identified for phenotype-defined aging/HIV research (i.e., clinical and behavioral specification, biological mechanisms, intervention targets), and some important research questions are suggested within each of these research paths.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.