Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Patients With HIV Disease: A Guide for Nurse Practitioners

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HIV infection elevates a patient's risk for developing cardiovascular disease (CVD), due in part to direct effects of increased infection-producing inflammation and to drugs used to treat the infection, which can have untoward effects on serum lipid profiles. HIV-infected older adults often present with multiple comorbidities, including CVD, making disease management more challenging. Treatment paradigms are evolving, and nurse practitioners (NPs) are expected to play an ever-larger role in the management of HIV infection. Due to their accessibility and close patient contact, NPs are especially well suited to work with and educate patients to manage multiple risk factors. Appropriate use of primary, secondary, and tertiary CVD prevention strategies, including education to modify lifestyle risks, individualized antiretroviral treatment regimens to achieve serum lipid targets, and use of additional lipid-modifying strategies to minimize a patient's overall CVD risk profile will be important throughout the treatment lifecycle.

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