This past month, the scientific journal Neurology published results suggesting a connection between increased stroke rates and being HIV-positive. The LA Times ran a story, as did many online news sites.
The researchers looked at a national database of stroke patients from 1997 and 2006, differentiating between HIV-positive and HIV-negative.
Overall, the number of HIV-positive patients hospitalized for stroke increased from 43%, while the number for HIV-negative patients actually decreased by 7%.
This marked an increase of a whopping 67% in stroke risk for HIV-positive patients.
This study did have one redeeming fact. It was completed because more and more HIV-positive patients are surviving into old age, which is a testament to the treatments we have today. Older patients are simply more prone to stroke and other cardiovascular accidents.
Yet the researchers also concluded that the increased stroke risk could very well be linked to the treatments itself. HIV treatment therapies could potentially boost risk factors for stroke. And in an ironic twist, these treatments prolong life but also exposure to the virus, leading to "inflammatory effects resulting from long-term infection."
We at Moveable Feast believe it's good to stay informed about the latest HIV news and research. We're also glad to be here for our clients, who often face multiple medical issues.