Cardiovascular Disease and HIV: A Leading Cause of Mortality

Careful monitoring of those with HIV can help slow down the progression of the disease and other conditions that may come along too. Links between HIV and other chronic conditions are well-known and documented. Recent trends in regards to cardiovascular disease and HIV, however, have physicians on the lookout for new treatments and approaches, as the number of patients suffering from high cholesterol and hypertension is on the rise. This calls for action and new strategies for helping patients not only maintain heart health, but their overall well-being.

While a connection is not surprising between HIV and cardiovascular disease, researchers have noticed a trend that gives cause for concern. Many HIV-positive patients who present with either high cholesterol or hypertension are receiving treatment. The problem lies in the fact that, of those who are on medications, few are actually showing improvement. Clearly, a more effective approach is needed.

The prospects of gaining control over HIV have vastly improved in recent years. Today, HIV can be controlled, and a patient can lead a relatively healthy life. So, while the main cause of death for someone with HIV is not the virus, the other common causes of HIV related deaths now need to be addressed. Of these, stroke and heart attacks are on the rise. The treatments that are available and in use are generally able to control the conditions. The issue is one of helping patients understand the risks, guidelines, and course of treatment. Educating patients and helping them to stick with the outlined course will help change current trends.

Cardiovascular disease and HIV is a reality. While cardiologists and other specialists can help stem the tide, new treatment options are also needed. In order to have more effective results, medications that are specific to the needs and circumstances of those with HIV will have to be developed.