The prevalence of low bone mineral density (BMD) among HIV-positive gay men is not significantly related to the virus, but caused by other risk factors, according to Dutch research, aidsmap reports. Published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, the paper drew upon past studies that found a raised prevalence of low BMD among people with HIV compared with the general population.

Between 2008 and 2011, researchers compared BMD rates between three groups of gay men ages 20 to 55, none of whom had known risk factors for low BDM, including injection drug use or kidney disease. The cohorts included 41 men with primary infection (infected for six months or less), 106 with chronic infection, and a control group of 30 HIV-negative men.

Low BDM rates did not differ significantly between the three groups: 20 percent of primary-infected, 22 percent of chronically infected, and 13 percent of the control group had low BDM. HIV appeared not to increase the likelihood of low BDM. Finding that average bone density was lower across the three groups when compared with the general population, researchers speculated the main causes were low body weight, smoking, and alcohol and drug use.

To read the aidsmap report, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.