does being hiv positive age you faster than if you weren't positive?
Sep 14, 2008
I am a 40 yr.old hiv + woman,has chronic fatigue,and has high blood pressure,high cholesterol,high triglycerides,all complications due to hiv meds,does the complications of meds and the disease age a person faster than if you were hiv negative?
Response from Dr. Moyle
Untreated HIV and particularly progression of HIV to illness, is associated with accelerated aging. People may notice accelerated aging of the skin and greying of the hair. Furthermore, changes in immune function with HIV in part mimic the changes seen with aging. Untreated HIV or interruptions of HIV treatment is associated with increased risk of some diseases of aging, such as heart disease. Treating HIV seems to slow/stop this process but, as you comment, some medication choices, especially those more popular a few years back (d4T, AZT, certain protease inhibitors), may make for lipid and sugar handling problems (risking premature heart disease and diabetes) and body shape changes. Modifying treatments to the currently recommended generation of HIV drugs seems to reverse lipid changes and may help with sugar handling and may allow slow recovery of body shape. Given projections with current therapy that survival with HIV on treatment may be near normal, the implication is that we think we are winning the battle against HIV and accelerated aging. Kind regards,
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