HIV and cardiovascular disease: A review of awareness and control of risk factors

  • Mweene Haamaundu Department of Public Health, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Lusaka
Keywords: HIV, Cardiovascular, People Living with HIV, HIV/AIDS


Background: People living with HIV (PWLH) face an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), posing a significant public health challenge. Understanding the intricate mechanisms behind this heightened risk is imperative for crafting precise interventions aimed at alleviating the burden of CVD within this demographic. Methods: To capture evolving trends pertaining to HIV and CVD and their interplay, this comprehensive review encompassed a thorough search of diverse literature types, encompassing peer-reviewed research, editorials, and research papers. The search spanned various databases, including Google Scholar, PubMed, and the National Library of Medicine's hub, with a particular emphasis on articles bearing the "association" tag. This exhaustive exploration continued through March 28, 2023, with additional pertinent studies identified through a meticulous examination of citations within these articles. This narrative review endeavors to scrutinize the intricate relationship between HIV infection and CVD, elucidate the underlying mechanisms contributing to the heightened risk, and underscore the pivotal significance of early screening and the vigilant management of conventional CVD risk factors among PWLH. Conclusion: An accumulating body of evidence underscores that PWLH confront a significantly augmented risk of CVD in comparison to the general populace. This elevated risk encompasses a multitude of factors, encompassing traditional CVD risk factors, HIV-related variables, chronic inflammation, immune activation, and metabolic perturbations associated with antiretroviral therapy. The proactive screening and meticulous management of traditional CVD risk factors, including hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia, alongside steadfast adherence to antiretroviral therapy, stand as paramount strategies for mitigating the CVD risk among PWLH. This review underscores the imperative for further research to unravel the intricate mechanisms underpinning CVD in PWLH and to formulate precision-targeted interventions aimed at alleviating the burden of CVD within this population.