Diagnosis and Management of Common Chronic Metabolic Complications in HIV-infected Patients
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Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection has become a chronic illness that requires continuing medical care and patient self-management education to prevent acute complications and to reduce the risk of long-term complications. Metabolic complications such as dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus, obesity, and fat distribution abnormalities are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is now a leading cause of death among HIV-infected patients. Lipid abnormalities, now often characteristically seen with HIV infection, include elevated triglycerides and low elevated total cholesterol (TC), and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels of total and HDL cholesterol. Many antiretroviral drugs are associated with lipid abnormalities, which commonly include hypertriglyceridemia and increased total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. The management of dyslipidemia includes lifestyle modifications, lipid-lowering therapy, and switching antiretroviral therapy (ART). The increased prevalence of insulin resistance, impaired glucose tolerance, and diabetes is multifactorial in etiology. Management and goals of diabetes should follow the same practice guidelines in non-HIV-infected patients. Drug interactions and switching ART are additional management measures in diabetic HIV-infected patients. Since the treatment of lipodystrophy is a challenge, its prevention by selecting appropriate ART is the key.
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