People with HIV have immune systems similar to much older People: Study

People with HIV have immune systems similar to much older People: Study

A new study suggested that people with HIV could have immune system similar to older people’s immune system. According to the study, it happens when HIV infected people are treated with antiretroviral drugs. Older people’s immune system can put them at risk to certain diseases.

According to Dr. Douglas Jabs, a professor of ophthalmology and medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, while people with HIV or AIDS have been living than every because of antiretroviral drugs, but the drugs could also put them at risk of developing age-related diseases. Those diseases could be cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Jabs, who is also lead author of the new study, said that such people are more at risk to age-related macular degeneration or AMD. In the late stage, the disease can also lead to vision loss and blindness.

According to Jebs, AMD is the major cause of visual impairment and blindness in people who are over 65. It can cause damage to part of the retina called the macula, he added.

He said, “There is an emerging body of data in the HIV literature that patients with HIV infection, who are treated with antiretroviral therapy and have immune recovery – so now they’re not getting opportunistic infections – they have markedly improved survivals.”

During the new study, Jabs and his team members studied over 1,800 patients of HIV between the ages of 13 and 73 from 1998 to 2011. According to the study, the participants’ immune systems were always activated and they had chronic inflammation.

The researchers also compared the drugs that the participants were taking. According to them, it was not linked to drugs. It was due to the beating the immune system has taken dealing with HIV and everything else.

Dr. Jabs said that the next step is to determine whether chronic activation of the immune system and systemic inflammation are the causes of greater risk of AMD.


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