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Every reference to the aging rules I could find says the negatives are "penalties". These references are the Age Resistance spell line (Ultimate Magic), the Mantle of Immortality item (Ultimate Equipment), the Sands of Time spell(Ultimate Magic), the Nacreous Gray Sphere Ioun Stone (Seeker of Secrets), the Threefold Aspect spell (Advanced Player's Guide), a Cairn Linnorm's curse (Bestiary 3), the Immortality arcane discovery (Ultimate Magic), one of the possible results of drinking Strange Fluids from a spaceship (Land of Fallen Stars), The Foreign Trader card from a Harrow Deck of Many Things (Artifacts and Legends) and the Monk and Druid's Timeless Body (Core).
Why am I asking then? Every reference to these rules calls them penalties, the actual aging rules themselves however, do not. The rules themselves say only that "a character's physical ability scores decrease and his mental ability scores increase" and that "However, none of a character's ability scores can be reduced below 1 in this way." (one of the main traits of penalties).
Why does it matter?
If aging negatives are penalties, temporary removal of the con penalty will increase a character's max HP, but if they are decreases it will not (unless it lasts more than 24 hours)
If aging negatives are penalties, they don't interfere with ability score requirements such as Power Attack's 13 strength. If they are decreases every feat a character has could be rendered invalid due to no longer qualifying.
If aging negatives are not penalties, an aged character is more susceptible to ability damage/drain reducing an ability score to 0. For example: A middle aged character who started with 14 con needs 14 points of ability damage/drain to kill him if they are penalties, but only 13 if they are decreases.