Infection with the AIDS virus, HIV, appears to accelerate aging in many people, in many ways.
UCSF researchers are exploring various facets of AIDS and aging.
HIV infection no longer is a death sentence, unlike the last time the International AIDS Conference was held in the U.S. in 1990. As a result many baby boomers with HIV are living to experience diseases of aging. But when it comes to heart disease, dementia, inflammation and other chronic conditions associated with aging, these survivors appear to be at risk earlier in life, notes UCSF AIDS researcher Steven Deeks, MD.
HIV might be triggering chronic, harmful, low-level inflammation that impacts many chronic diseases of aging. Treatment is associated with toxicities that may do damage over time, and some are associated with increased cholesterol, regarded as a risk factor for heart disease. Deeks wants to know if earlier treatment of HIV infection will prevent signs of early aging. To reduce inflammation in HIV patients he advocates healthy lifestyle changes, and he wants to evaluate drugs with anti-inflammatory effects.