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HIV and Kidney Disease
Jun 9, 2009

Dear Dr. Henry, Thank you for taking my question. Can the HIV virus cause kidney disease? I am a 45 year old white male with AIDS and I have been diagnosed with stage 4 kidney disease. I have been told that HIV does not cause kidney disease except in African American males. Is this true? Does the HIV medications cause kidney disease in people with AIDS. My blood pressure has been high for over two years. I do have my BP under control now, but could this have caused my CKD. I have also been told that there has never been a documented case where a white male with AIDS has developed kidney disease. Is this a true statement? Thank you so much for your help. I am so confused by all the different information about this.

Response from Dr. Henry

HIV can cause Kidney disease (HIV nephropathy) which for unclear reasons in the US is heavily concentrated in African American. High blood pressure, diabetes, chronic use of NSAIDs (like ibuprofen), hepatitis C, congenital, and many other acquired conditions and drugs can contribute to kidney damage. The type if kidney damage can help determine the possible causes (sometimes X-rays or kidney biopsy need to sort out). Assessment by 24 hour urine collections often important looking at GFR and protein loss in urine as clues to the underlying cause. In some cases the cause of kidney dysfunction remains unclear. KH

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