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January 6, 2010

Aging, HIV infection and the immune system

"In the November 9th issue of New York Magazine, David France reports on the emerging issue of accelerated aging in people with HIV infection. The article offers a series of disturbing vignettes about the complications some individuals are facing as they age, such as bone problems and impaired cognitive function, and raises important questions about how much attention is being paid to the issue by current research, particularly in terms of pursuing new therapeutic options. [1]

"However, beyond mentioning inflammation, the piece does not really delve into the underlying immunological parallels between HIV infection and aging and consider how they might fit into the picture. This is a potentially important omission, as there is accumulating evidence that the accelerated aging of the immune system that has been documented in people with HIV is likely to be related to many of the clinical phenomena described in France’s article."

Read more in HIV Treatment Bulletin, November/December 2009.