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