Researchers Report Higher Rates of Dyslipidemia Among Women Diagnosed With HIV/AIDS

Three main types of fats are found in the human body with that being high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, and triglycerides. The disbalance in the levels of these fats is known as dyslipidemia. Dyslipidemia is a condition that most commonly characterizes itself with high levels of low-density lipoprotein or triglycerides or low levels of high-density lipoprotein. 

The reason why it is important to treat dyslipidemia as soon as possible is the long list of health issues that are expected to occur because of it. High low-density lipoprotein, also known as “bad” cholesterol, and triglycerides, for example, are known to expose us to the risk of heart disease, heart attack, diabetes type 2, and stroke, among other health issues. 

Unfortunately, it seems that certain individuals are exposed to a higher risk of dyslipidemia. An especially significant risk group for developing dyslipidemia are women diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, as some recent scientific data has suggested. 

High rates of dyslipidemia among women diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, science suggests

The existence of antiretroviral therapy has made it possible for anyone living with HIV/AIDS to extend their lifespan. However, while antiretroviral therapy can control the symptoms of HIV/AIDS, it does not affect whatsoever on the additional comorbidities related to the normal aging process. 

Over the years, researchers and doctors have been talking about more and more HIV/AIDS positive women being affected with dyslipidemia, and with that, exposed to the health risks that this condition brings. Finally, a group of researchers has decided to use the Children and Women: Antiretrovirals and Markers of Aging (CARMA) cohort to explore the prevalence of dyslipidemia, comparing the rates between HIV/AIDS positive and negative women. 

A recent study published in March 2020, in HIV Medicine, has shed some light and new information on a rather intriguing topic. The researchers that have worked on this study were interested to answer a question that has existed for years – Is it true that women living with HIV have a higher rate of dyslipidemia as compared to those who do not have the infection? And is that is the case, is the infection alone that sole factor that increases this incidence?

For their study, the researcher has looked at data from 289 nonpregnant women. Of all 289 women, 156 have tested positive for HIV/AIDS and have been treated with the use of antiretroviral therapy, as the treatment guidelines for HIV/AIDS instruct. The rest of that group, with that being 133 women, have not tested positive for HIV/AIDS. 

The results did reveal that there was a higher rate of dyslipidemia among those living with HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS was associated with dyslipidemia, although it was not associated with other major health risks such as diabetes, hypertension, nor metabolic syndrome. 

A noticeable increase in the rates of dyslipidemia has been seen among HIV/AIDS positive women who were also smokers, as compared to HIV/AIDS positive women who were non-smokers. Other than that, no other noticeable differences have been reported. 

Researches have also talked about the possibility of improving the long-term outcomes among the women who have tested positive for HIV/AIDS and have been faced with dyslipidemia and all of the additional health risks that followed with it. An improvement in the quality of lifestyle, use of certain medications, such as a statin, and a decrease in smoking seem like the most promising strategies of them all. 


Over the years, the rates of dyslipidemia, especially among women, have been increasing. Because of the wide variety of health risks that are associated with this condition, researchers have become interested in exploring this topic, with the hopes of causing these rates to decline. What they were most interested in was finding out whether the rates of dyslipidemia were higher among HIV/AIDS positive women as previously gathered data has suggested. What they did find out was that there was a higher rate of dyslipidemia among those living with HIV/AIDS, especially among smokers.