Purpose of review
The current article addresses crucial issues in identifying risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in people living with HIV in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). These issues are in need of urgent attention to advance our knowledge and inform actions to mitigate CVD in this population. We address CVDs in adults living with HIV as well as the unique aspects pertaining to children living with HIV (CLHIV), a group sorely under-represented in this field.
CVDs affecting adults such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, coronary artery disease, and heart failure, in addition to myocardial dysfunction, vascular diseases, and autoimmune phenomena are also being reported in CLHIV. In addition to the background disparity in prevalence of traditional CVD risk factors, it is also likely that differential access to antiretroviral treatment, the younger age of the HIV-infected population, and types of antiretroviral treatment commonly used in LMICs contribute to the observed differences.
Overall, the state of evidence for CVD in LMICs is limited and at times contradictory. We summarize the evidence with suggestions for high priorities for further scientific investigation. Now is the crucial time to intervene in modifying CVD risk in LMICs.