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HIV and bone mineral density

Mallon, Patrick WGa,b

Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases: February 2010 - Volume 23 - Issue 1 - p 1–8
doi: 10.1097/QCO.0b013e328334fe9a
HIV infection and AIDS: Edited by Martin Fisher

Purpose of review This review details the clinical aspects and pathogenesis of low bone mineral density (BMD) in HIV, discusses broad management issues and outlines areas in which our understanding of this condition is incomplete.

Recent findings Low BMD is prevalent in HIV-infected patients, with traditional risk factors, HIV infection and exposure to antiretroviral therapy all contributing. The role of specific antiretrovirals in the development of low BMD remains controversial, but most changes arise at either antiretroviral therapy initiation or switch.

Summary Further research is needed to clarify mechanisms underlying low BMD in HIV, whether low BMD will translate to increased fractures and to determine the correct therapeutic approach to low BMD in HIV, particularly in younger HIV-infected patients.

aHIV Molecular Research Group, School of Medicine and Medical Sciences, University College Dublin, Ireland

bDepartment of Infectious Diseases, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

Correspondence to Dr Patrick W.G. Mallon, Catherine McAuley Education and Research Centre, Nelson Street, Dublin 7, Ireland Tel: +44 35317166311; fax: +44 35317166335; e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.