Sunday, January 24, 2010
HIV infection or the treatments used to control it are prematurely aging the brain
Blood flow in the brains of HIV patients is reduced to levels normally seen in uninfected patients 15 to 20 years older. Epidemiologists estimate that 14% - 18% of all AIDS patients in the United States are more than 50 years old. This age group also has one of the highest rates of new infection. If current trends continue, by the year 2015, their number will grow to more than 50% of the overall patient population. Prior studies of HIV infection's long-term health effects have found the virus may adversely affect the heart, liver, endocrine system, skeleton and kidney. A recent study of the overall health of the body found that HIV infection advances the body's age by about 10 years.