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.
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.
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.
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.
The risk of a heart attack for people living with HIV has declined to the same risk as people living without HIV. A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases shows that the increased risk of heart attack for people living with HIV is largely reversible when a continued emphasis on primary prevention is given, in combination with early initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) to prevent immune infection.
A new study has found that adults living with HIV have poorer hearing than adults not infected with this virus. HIV affects the auditory portion of the inner ear, meaning low and high frequencies may not be heard. As a result, adults living with HIV may experience difficulties hearing and understanding speech, due to the low frequency sounds of vowels and consonants – and particularly in the English language.