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World AIDS Day 2022: Are diabetics more likely to contract HIV, and vice versa?

HIV infection affects diabetes patients because both illnesses significantly damage the immune system. HIV has been transformed from an acute infection into a chronic disease thanks to highly active antiretroviral medication.
Diabetes is an illness characterised by high blood sugar levels that, if ignored, can damage blood vessels and organs, resulting in significant consequences. The chronic condition also raises the chance of secondary infections, such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes a viral infection to target immune system cells, making one more vulnerable to other infections and disorders. As a result of their extremely impaired immune systems, diabetes patients are frequently infected with HIV.
Although there is no cure for HIV, highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART), a specific mix of drugs used to battle the virus, can keep it under control. HAART also greatly increases the life expectancy of HIV patients. HIV and certain HAART drugs, on the other hand, may enhance one’s risk of developing diabetes or developing it at an earlier age. According to a 2021 study, up to 15% of HIV patients develop diabetes.
Because both of these illnesses have a direct impact on the immune system, they increase the risk of metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance, impaired glucose, metabolic syndrome, increased lipids, and obesity. As a result, people living with HIV and diabetes are more likely to develop heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, and strokes. Furthermore, because diabetes is an immune-suppressed condition, opportunistic infections are more likely in diabetics, necessitating a multidisciplinary approach to treating diabetics who also have HIV.
According to studies, persons living with HIV acquire diabetes at a younger age than the general population.
Diabetes prevalence estimates among persons living with HIV differ based on participant age and geography. According to one widely cited study, people with HIV are four times more likely than the general population to have diabetes, while a more conservative estimate is that people with HIV over the age of 50 have a 1.39 times higher risk of diabetes than people of the same age without HIV.
Treatment
Patients’ survival has increased as a result of improved HIV testing tools, earlier diagnosis, and better care. People living with HIV can live practically normal lives because to the availability and accessibility of effective antiretroviral medication. As a result, the prevalence of chronic HIV complications in clinical practise has grown.
How can HIV-positive persons lower their risk of acquiring diabetes?
People who are overweight, rarely exercise, or have a family history of diabetes are more prone to acquire diabetes. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pharmaceutical side effects, and current pregnancy are all risk factors. While smokers are 30-40% more likely to acquire type 2 diabetes, persons of specific races may also be predisposed.

John Smith

John Smith

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