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CHANGE HIV: Correlates of Healthy Aging iN GEriatric HIV Study

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About the study (objectives)

The CHANGE HIV Study is a five-year longitudinal cohort study that aims to improve our knowledge of the complexities of HIV and aging, with a focus on understanding the physical, mental, cognitive, and social aspects of health and how they interact to affect wellbeing.

This cohort is the first geriatric HIV cohort in Canada and will measure markers of healthy aging over time, including health status variables and frailty scores. The study researchers are also interested in HIV-specific variables and microbiome function (viral load, immune function, gut health, etc.).

About the disease/condition (background/context)

The average age of a person living with HIV in Canada is now over 50 years and is projected to rise above 65 in the next 10 years; this is a result of the development of effective antiretroviral therapy (ART), and because roughly one-quarter of new infections are in people over the age of 50. The aging of this population poses significant challenges to the health system that are unique to people living with HIV.

Study Approach (methodology)

The study will take place over 5 years in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, and aims to enroll a cohort of 750 people (80% men, 20% women). Data collection will occur in three phases, 18 months apart, with three study visits per phase for a total of nine study visits.

During each phase, a series of questionnaires, physical measurements, and blood tests will be collected. Data collected via questionnaire will cover the five domains of health: social support, quality of life, cognitive function, physical function, and mental health. Questionnaire data from the three study phases will be used to calculate a Health Aging Score (HAS) for each participant. Study investigators will analyze how personal, environmental, and HIV-specific factors affect health over time.

Researchers will also analyze the relationship between HAS, microbiome function, and inflammation. Biological specimens from the cohort will be collected and stored for use in potential future studies. Storing of samples for future use will be integral to the advancement of this area of study as new tests are developed and new markers related to healthy aging are identified.

Eligibility criteria


  • HIV-1 positive,
  • >65 years of age, and
  • Able to communicate sufficiently in English or French to consent and complete study procedures. Written consent will be obtained from each participant.

Participation in other observational or interventional studies is permitted but should be brought to the attention of study personnel.

Participating Sites


Toronto General Hospital
Dr. Sharon Walmsley

St. Michael’s Hospital
Dr. Darrell Tan

St. Michael’s Hospital: Health Centre at 410
410 Sherbourne St.
Dr. Gordon Arbess

Maple Leaf Research
Dr. Mona Loutfy

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Dr. Nisha Andany


B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
Dr. Silvia Guillemi


McGill University Health Centre
Dr. Julian Falutz

Additional Information

For more information about CTN 314, contact:

Rosemarie Clarke, RN, MHM, BScN, CHE, CCRP
Project Manager/Clinical Research Nurse Manager
University Health Network/Toronto General Hospital
416-340-4800 ext. 6723

Principal Investigator

Dr. Sharon Walmsley
University Health Network
Toronto, Ontario, Canada,

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