The latest international news, analysis and features on the HIV epidemic from Avert. Share your views and expertise with your peers in the comments box below the articles.
As people living with HIV grow older, they have a greater chance of developing certain types of cancers compared to the general population.
Two major studies presented at the recent International AIDS Conference in Vancouver highlight the importance of peer and community interventions in improving outcomes for mothers living with HIV. Support to ensure timely access to prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) services and encouragement to stay in care are central to this.
A quarter of people living with HIV in the UK are aged over 50, according to recent statistics from Public Health England. While care of HIV-positive people was once the domain of specialist staff, people living with HIV are now living full lives thanks to treatment, and are more often seen by general health services. However, the care needs of older HIV-positive people still require careful consideration, as many primary providers do not have up-to-date knowledge of HIV.
A study in the United States has found that people living with HIV aged 45 to 65, who start treatment with low CD4 counts – a measure of how healthy the immune system is – have higher mortality rates than their younger counterparts. Improved health outcomes were experienced among this group when treatment was started earlier, at the World Health Organisation recommended CD4 count of 500 cells/mm3.
Individuals who choose not to disclose their HIV status are not more likely to suffer from depression or anxiety, have more problems with treatment adherence or worse HIV outcomes, according to a large study presented at the British HIV Association (BHIVA) conference in Brighton last week.
HIV infection, or inflammatory changes associated with HIV infection, are responsible for fat gain in people living with HIV (PLHIV) and on treatment, and not the antiretroviral treatment (ART) itself. This is according to new research presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) last week.
Smoking is the biggest contributing factor to the total burden of non-AIDS related cancers for people living with HIV (PLHIV) in the United States, when compared to all other risk factors. Studies show that PLHIV who smoke, or used to smoke, have a 37 percent increased risk of non-AIDS related cancers in comparison to a control group, and a 29 percent increased risk when lung cancer is not taken into the equation. Halting the progression of HIV to AIDS could prevent another up to eight percent of non-AIDS cancer.
As UNAIDS and UNICEF launch All In! on 17 February, a global initiative to reduce the unnecessary deaths of adolescents living with HIV, James Odongo reports on the realities faced by teens in Uganda.
New research from South Africa shows that HIV infection is not a barrier for kidney transplants between people living with HIV (PLHIV), making kidney transplantation from an HIV-positive donor an additional treatment option for PLHIV requiring renal-replacement therapy. An estimated eight to twenty-two percent of the people on HIV treatment in South Africa experience kidney failure, for people not on treatment this percentages is as high as 20 to 27 percent.
Screening for bone fracture risk should be a routine part of HIV care, as recommended by new guidelines published in the journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases. Evidence shows that low bone mineral density (osteoporosis) and fragility fractures occur more frequently in people living with HIV.