How HIV-Positive Patients Can Reduce Their Risk of Heart Disease


By Andrew Thompson

It has been observed that people with HIV tend to be more at risk of developing heart disease than the rest of the population. Apart from the inclination of HIV+ persons to smoke substantially more, other reasons include abnormal fat changes in the body due to some drugs that are needed to be taken for HIV treatment. Lipodystrophy, as the condition is called, is responsible for elevating cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood as well as the sugar level that makes them susceptible to both heart disease and diabetes. Inflammation caused by the HIV can damage the heart as well as the blood vessels and expose the person more to the risk of developing heart disease.

Evaluating and Reducing the Risk

If you have been diagnosed with HIV, it is extremely important for you to evaluate the various risk factors that can cause heart disease and take steps to mitigate them. If you are not aware you should ask your healthcare provider what an ELISA test is and how the test results are interpreted for the presence of HIV infection. Consult your healthcare provider to find out if the HIV drugs that you are taking can have the effect of raising the level of cholesterol and triglycerides. Ask whether your treatment can be done with the new class of medicines that does not affect the lipid level to that extent. However, you should know that drug switching may not be possible for all patients, and you should never make any changes to the medicines prescribed to you for HIV treatment without consulting your healthcare provider.

Proactive Steps That You Can Take For Risk Mitigation

While there are some risk factors over which you cannot have any control, there are plenty of things that you can do to lead a healthier life and reduce the risk of cardiac disease. Some typical examples:

Stop smoking: Smokers are twice as liable to show at least a bit of kindness assault contrasted and the individuals who have never smoked. It has been conclusively proven that there is a very high correlation between smoking tobacco and heart disease. Chemicals in tobacco smoke harm supply routes, drive your heart to work harder and make blood more inclined to cluster (raising heart assault or stroke chance). The hazard to your well-being begins to drop not long after you surrender, so it’s never past the point of no return. Try to quit smoking altogether, but if that is not feasible then you should reduce your smoking in phases until such time you are able to finally quit.

Control blood pressure: Hypertension is not for the most part something you can see, but rather it can harm the supply routes, which can build your danger of heart assault and stroke. If you have high blood pressure then your heart has to work substantially more and this can lead to heart failure. After some time, on the off chance that it is not treated, the heart may turn out to be anomalous expansive and its pumping activity will be less successful, which could prompt heart disappointment. If you have high blood pressure, it is best to consult your healthcare provider for appropriate treatment.

On the off chance that you have been determined to have hypertension it’s critical to

  • keep to a solid weight
  • cut down on salt and liquor
  • stay physically dynamic
  • take any endorsed prescription.

Monitor lipid levels: If you already have enhanced lipid level or if the HIV medication has caused it to rise, then you are likely to be prescribed drugs that can lower the lipid level and your HIV medication may also be changed.

Keep blood sugar under control: In the event that you have diabetes, it’s critical to control your blood glucose, circulatory strain and cholesterol. Those who have diabetes and their blood sugar levels are not under adequate control run an increased risk of heart disease. Since HIV medications can increase your risk of developing diabetes, you should take extra care to ensure that your blood sugar levels are within acceptable limits. Eating a solid eating regimen, being dynamic and controlling your weight all help deal with these things and decrease your danger of creating CVD. Sort 2 diabetes is connected to the measure of fat in your body, so in the event that you lose enough weight, you may quit encountering side effects, in spite of the fact that they can return, particularly in the event that you recapture weight.

Ensure a proper diet: HIV and its medication can cause a great deal of bodily stress so it is very important to eat right. To take proper care of your heart, you should consume foods that are naturally rich in Omega-3 fatty acids that are typically found in fish as well as nuts, vegetable oils, and seeds. It may also help to take Omega-3 fatty acid supplements to take care of any deficiencies in your diet.

Exercise regularly: Heart health, as well as control over the lipid levels, can be effectively ensured by working out physically on a regular basis. Working out will also ensure that your weight can be reduced to an optimum level.


Consulting your healthcare provider is the best way to determine the extent of risk of heart disease. You will not only have to undergo tests to check the levels of your lipids, and blood sugar but also share your family’s history of cardiac disease. Depending on the evaluation of your risk, you will be prescribed medications as necessary and advised a proper diet and exercise regimen that will keep you healthy and protected from heart disease to the maximum extent.

Author bio: Andrew Thompson is an experienced healthcare provider and a Freelance writer who is writing for various blogs on Health. A popular speaker on HIV issues, Andrew devotes a lot of time explaining what an ELISA test is to common people before proceeding to recommend lifestyle changes for better health.


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