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How Many People on HIV Meds Get Diabetes? (Editor's Pick)
Jul 29, 2015

What percentage of people taking HIV meds eventually get diabetes? How often should an HIV specialist monitor his/her patients for diabetes? Or, should HIV+ patients on treatment be proactive and monitor themselves for diabetes? What is the most useful monitoring method for diabetes in otherwise healthy HIV+ patients on treatment? At what point should an HIV+ patient on treatment look for additional (diabetes) or alternative HIV+ treatments less likely to cause diabetes? Which HIV drugs are the least likely to cause diabetes?

Thank you,

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

Diabetes is common in the general population and similarly common among people living with HIV. In our CDC-sponsored HIV Outpatient Study analysis among US patients, 7% developed diabetes over a 10 year period from 2002-2011. Though some studies have associated use of HIV protease inhibitors with the development of insulin resistance (and risk of diabetes), our large population-based study did not find an association with HIV drugs, but rather, Latinos, older or obese individuals and those with hepatitis C infection were at greater risk.

Screening for diabetes is recommended as part of routine HIV care- usually done by measuring fasting glucose levels in blood, or a test called hemoglobin A1c. According to IDSA HIV primary care guidelines, fasting blood glucose and/or hemoglobin A1c should be obtained prior to and within 1 to 3 months after starting HIV treatment.

Hope that helps, BY

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