Despite effective therapy that suppresses HIV replication and prevents AIDS, people living with HIV (PLWH) suffer an increased risk of a number of co-morbid conditions including heart disease, which is now one of the greatest causes of disease and death in PLWH on anti-HIV therapy.
PLWH have over twice the risk of developing cardiovascular disease as compared to the general population, but why this occurs is still unknown. A number of possible mechanisms have been proposed including: a) systemic inflammation and immune activation that persist despite effective anti-HIV therapy, b) increased platelet activation as a side effect of anti-HIV medications or c) altered function of cells which drive the early stages of cardiovascular disease (e.g. monocytes).
There is evidence that the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease in PLWH may differ subtly to the general population, which has implications for how to best predict, prevent and treat this disease in the HIV+ population.
We are collaborating with clinician-researchers located onsite at the Alfred Hospital to investigate a number of these critical questions including:
2016 – 2019
For any general enquiries relating to this project, please contact:
Deputy Program Director, Disease Elimination