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Maintaining lung health with longstanding HIV

Collini, Paula; Morris, Alisonb

Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases: February 2016 - Volume 29 - Issue 1 - p 31–38
doi: 10.1097/QCO.0000000000000221
HIV INFECTIONS AND AIDS: Edited by David H. Dockrell
Editor's Choice

Purpose of review Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is now managed as a chronic disease. Non-infectious pulmonary conditions have replaced infection as the biggest threat to lung health, particularly as HIV cohorts age, but there is no consensus on how best to maintain long-term lung health. We review the epidemiology and pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), and lung cancer in HIV-seropositive individuals.

Recent findings Diagnoses of COPD are now up to 50% more prevalent in HIV-seropositive individuals than HIV-uninfected controls, and prospective pulmonary function studies find significant impairment in 7% to more than 50% of HIV-seropositive individuals. The prevalence of HIV–PAH is 0.2–0.5%, and lung cancer is two to three times more prevalent in HIV-seropositive individuals. Although host factors such as age and smoking have a role, HIV is an independent contributor to the pathogenesis of COPD, PAH, and lung cancer. Chronic inflammation, immune senescence, oxidative stress, and direct effects of viral proteins are all potential pathogenetic mechanisms. Despite their prevalence, non-infectious lung diseases remain underrecognized and evidence for effective screening strategies in HIV-seropositive individuals is limited.

Summary COPD, PAH, and lung cancer are a growing threat to lung health in the highly active antiretroviral therapy era necessitating early recognition.

aDepartment of Infection, Immunity & Cardiovascular Disease, University of Sheffield Medical School, Sheffield, UK

bDepartment of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, 628 NW Montefiore University Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Correspondence to Dr Paul Collini, MBChB, PhD, Clinical Lecturer in Infectious Diseases, Department of Infection, Immunity & Cardiovascular Disease, University of Sheffield Medical School, Beech Hill Road, Sheffield S10 2JF, UK. Tel: +44 114 226 1113; fax: +44 114 226 8898; e-mail:

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