Mortal allies: human immunodeficiency virus and noncommunicable diseases

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Purpose of review

HIV-infected individuals have improved access to antiretroviral therapy. This has resulted in a shift in causes of mortality from infectious diseases to noncommunicable diseases including cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease (CKD) and malignancies. This review will look at the epidemiological shift, risk factors for the development of these diseases and examine some of the supporting laboratory diagnostic testing, which may be required.

Recent findings

Risk factors for the development of these diseases in HIV-infected patients include underlying genetic predisposition, lifestyle risk factors, chronic inflammation as a consequence of HIV infection, the presence and persistence of opportunistic infections and in some cases, highly active antiretroviral therapy, itself. Morbidity and mortality from HIV-associated conditions are increasing in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) with increased prevalence of HIV-associated cancers, cardiovascular disease and CKD.


Management of these conditions in LMICs requires an integrated pathology solution that will enable early screening, diagnosis and monitoring.

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