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Inflammatory co-morbidities in HIV+ individuals: learning lessons from healthy ageing.

Hearps AC, Martin GE, Rajasuriar R, Crowe SM

  • Journal Current HIV/AIDS reports

  • Published 22 Oct 2014

  • Volume 11

  • ISSUE 1

  • Pagination 20-34

  • DOI 10.1007/s11904-013-0190-8


Increased life expectancy due to improved efficacy of cART has uncovered an increased risk of age-related morbidities in HIV+ individuals and catalyzed significant research into mechanisms driving these diseases. HIV infection increases the risk of non-communicable diseases common in the aged, including cardiovascular disease, neurocognitive decline, non-AIDS malignancies, osteoporosis, and frailty. These observations suggest that HIV accelerates immunological ageing, and there are many immunological similarities with the aged, including shortened telomeres, accumulation of senescent T cells and altered monocyte phenotype/function. However, the most critical similarity between HIV+ individuals and the elderly, which most likely underpins the heightened risk of non-communicable diseases, is chronic inflammation and associated immune activation. Here, we review the similarities between HIV+ individuals and the aged regarding the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases, the current evidence for mechanisms driving these processes and discuss current and potential therapeutic strategies for addressing inflammatory co-morbidity in HIV+ infection.