Tuesday June 25, 2019

HIV Patients at Higher Risk of Developing Heart Diseases

The researchers emphasised on the importance of a healthy lifestyle that includes smoking cessation, adequate physical activity, eliminating or reducing the amount of alcohol consumed and a healthy diet

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AIDS, Indonesia, HIV
Students with their faces painted with messages pose during an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign to mark the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial, in Chandigarh, India, May 20, 2018. (VOA)

HIV patients are at a significantly higher risk of suffering from heart and blood vessel diseases as compared to those without the infection, according to a new scientific statement.

In the statement, published in the Circulation journal, the researchers indicated that the heart disease risk among HIV patients occurs due to interactions between traditional risk factors, such as diet, lifestyle and tobacco use; and HIV-specific risk factors, such as a chronically activated immune system and inflammation characteristic of chronic HIV.

“Considerable gaps exist in our knowledge about HIV-associated diseases of the heart and blood vessels, in part because HIV’s transition from a fatal disease to a chronic condition is relatively recent, so long-term data on heart disease risks are limited,” said Matthew J. Feinstein, lead author and Assistant Professor at Northwestern University in Chicago.

The statement, released by American Heart Association, highlighted that tobacco use, which increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, is common among people living with HIV.

Forty-two per cent of HIV patients were smokers, it said.

HIV. Pakistan
Participants hold placards in the shape of the red ribbon, the universal symbol of awareness and support for those living with HIV, as a hot air balloon is released during an awareness campaign ahead of World AIDS Day in Kolkata, India. VOA

The researchers said that another risk factor is the aging population of HIV patients as 75 per cent of HIV patients are over 45 years of age.

“Aging with HIV differs greatly from the aging issues facing the general population,” said Jules Levin, Founder and Executive Director of the National AIDS Treatment Advocacy Project.

“On average, people living with HIV who are over 60 years old have 3-7 medical conditions, including heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, kidney disease, frailty and bone diseases and many take 12-15 medications daily,” Levin added.

The researchers insisted that more research is needed for informed decision-making and effective CVD prevention and treatment in the aging population of people living with HIV.

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“There is a dearth of large-scale clinical trial data on how to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases in people living with HIV,” said Feinstein.

The researchers emphasised on the importance of a healthy lifestyle that includes smoking cessation, adequate physical activity, eliminating or reducing the amount of alcohol consumed and a healthy diet. (IANS)

Next Story

International Team Arrives in Pakistan to Probe HIV Outbreak

But national and international experts were not satisfied with the investigations so far largely being carried out by experts from the University of Karachi

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AIDS, Indonesia, HIV
Students with their faces painted with messages pose during an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign to mark the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial, in Chandigarh, India, May 20, 2018. (VOA)

An international team, comprising experts from the World Health Organization (WHO), Center for Disease Control (CDC), Unicef and Unaids, will arrive in Pakistan on Tuesday to probe the latest HIV outbreak in Sindh province.

“Led-by Oliver Morgan, Director of Health Emergency Information and Risk Assessment, in the Health Emergencies Programme of WHO, a 12-member international team comprising experts from CDC Atlanta, Georgia, Unicef and Unaids is landing today in Karachi to investigate the root cause of the latest HIV outbreak in Ratodero area of Larkana”, an official of the WHO told The News International.

As of Monday, 700 people including 576 children were tested positive for HIV since the outbreak was first reported on April 25.

HIV patients take part in an awareness session at Pakistan Society, a nongovernmental organization drop-in center, in Karachi, Nov. 30, 2013. Pixabay

The Sindh health department blamed “quacks” or unqualified practitioners for reusing syringes which is one of the major source of HIV spread among the general population, especially children.

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But national and international experts were not satisfied with the investigations so far largely being carried out by experts from the University of Karachi.

Fearing a ‘foul play’ in the recent HIV outbreak in Larkana, officials associated with the international health organisations said that although the “reuse of syringes” was emerging as “most likely cause of HIV outbreak” in Larkana, epidemiologists both in Pakistan as well as around the globe were not “satisfied” and have several questions as to why such a large number of children are infected, which is an unusual pattern. (IANS)