Women living with HIV have a higher rate of non-AIDS-related health conditions than those without the virus, Healio reports.

Publishing their findings in Clinical Infectious Diseases, Ighovwerha Ofotokun, MD, MSc, a professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at Emory University School of Medicine, and colleagues analyzed data from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study.

The study includes a nationally representative cohort of HIV-positive women and women at risk of acquiring the virus. In their current analysis, the study authors analyzed data on 2,309 women with fully suppressed HIV and 923 HIV-negative women.

The women had a median age of 50 years old. Sixty-five percent of them were Black, and 70% had a history of smoking.

The analysis considered data derived from the women’s most recent study visit. The women were followed for a median of 15 years.

The HIV-positive women had a median of 3.6 non-AIDS-related health conditions, compared with 3.0 among the HIV-negative women. Psychiatric illnesses, irregular blood lipids, non-AIDS-defining cancers and kidney, liver and bone disease, among others, were more common among the women living with HIV.

By comparing their findings with data from other U.S. cohort studies that assess multiple co-occurring health problems, the study authors theorized that the burden of non-AIDS-related health problems may be greater among HIV-positive women compared with their male counterparts.

“Non-HIV traditional risk factors were significantly associated with [non-AIDS-related health condition] burden in [women living with HIV] and should be prioritized in clinical guidelines for screening and intervention to mitigate comorbidity burden in this high-risk population,” the researchers concluded.

To read the Healio article, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.