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July 24, 2010 "The intersection of aging and HIV infection appears to have a destructive impact on bone health. Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have shown in an animal model that the presence of HIV proteins, even without a replicating virus, leads to alterations in cells that break down bone.

"The team’s results were published this week online in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"We found that HIV proteins, by themselves, can alter the output of hormones that affect the balance between bone formation and bone breakdown leading to bone loss,” says senior author M. Neale Weitzmann, MD, assistant professor of endocrinology at Emory University School of Medicine. “This information could help doctors decide the best way to stave off osteoporosis and bone fractures, which are becoming increasingly common in individuals living with HIV infection.”