HIV has long been connected with certain secondary conditions and complications. With treatment, some can be managed, and risks can be reduced. One surprising study has revealed a strong link between HIV and stroke. It had been noticed that the number of young individuals presenting with a stroke were HIV-positive. New studies have found definite ties between the two conditions.

The trend has been noted especially across much of the southern portion of Africa.

  • Young adults reporting stroke had no history to suggest risk.
  • For example, few had a history of high blood pressure, were obese, smoked, or had diabetes.
  • Researchers found that in one study, almost half of the participants who had strokes were HIV positive.
  • These individuals were all under 45 years old.
  • Consistent with what was being seen, these patients also had no previous history that would suggest a high risk of stroke.

Another interesting piece of information that had been uncovered during the ongoing study was that those who had just started therapy for HIV had the highest risk of stroke. The risk declined after six months of treatment. Those who had been on the antiretroviral therapies for a while had a much lower risk of stroke. Medical personnel are eager to learn what the specific link is between the virus and stroke. Particularly alarming is the high risk during the first stages of the therapy.

What Does the HIV and Stroke Link Mean Globally?

While these findings were uncovered on the African continent, the link between HIV and stroke is definite. The findings here will have tremendous effects globally when it comes to HIV and its treatment.

There is clear evidence that continued treatment not only maintains health and controls the HIV infection, but also greatly reduces stroke risk. Bridging the gap between the starting point and less risk is now the main focus. Continued investigation is necessary at this juncture to find answers, and then come up with ways to protect patients until they are out of the high-risk category.