Atherosclerotic vascular disease in people with HIV infection

Janine Trevyllian1, David Nolan2

  1.  Department of Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Science, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC
  2. Department of Clinical Immunology, Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, WA

Last reviewed: October 2019


While antiretroviral therapy (ART) has led to dramatic improvements in life expectancy for people with HIV infection [1], there is evidence that individuals receiving effective ART remain at increased risk of a number of serious, traditionally age-related, co-morbidities including cardiovascular disease (CVD) [2], which is now one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality [3]. In fact, HIV infection is associated with an increased risk of CVD that has been estimated at ~50% after adjustment for traditional risk factors [4]. As the average age of people with HIV infection increases [5], there is likely to be a corresponding increase in the prevalence of CVD which will have significant impacts on both the health of people with HIV infection and their care requirements from the medical community. It is therefore increasingly important that clinicians and individuals with HIV infection are aware of this increased risk and how to reduce it through lifestyle modifications, personalized ART choices and the use of risk modified medications (such as statins) in those who warrant it.