Diabetes is Caused by HIV?

Question

IS diabetes a symptom of having the HIV virus?

Answer

Yes and no. Diabetes does not seem to be caused by HIV itself. However antiretroviral therapy (ART) is associated with a higher incidence of diabetes mellitus (DM). The reason for this seems to be that ART is associated with a metabolic phenomenon in some people called insulin reistance (IR). And IR is commonly seen as the cause of DM in non-HIV adult onset diabetes (non-insulin dependent diabetes). It seems that some of the ART drugs, especially protease inhibitors (PI) interfere with glucose metabolism in a complex way to do this. So we have to monitor people on ART for DM. Studies have shown that between 5 and 20% on PI-based ART will have evidence of IR with about 1-5% actually having DM. Sorry for all the abbreviations. AF