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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2007 Dec;16(10):1402-11.

HIV and menopause: a review.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, The Miriam Hospital, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02906, USA.


The use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has resulted in dramatic reductions in morbidity and mortality of HIV infected individuals. With increasing life expectancy, a growing population of women will experience menopausal transitions while infected with HIV. Changes associated with menopause may affect HIV disease progression, and HIV-infected women may experience menopause in a different way from that of uninfected women. Age at natural menopause among non-HIV-infected white and Hispanic women is on the average 51 years, and that of African American women is 49 years. Several studies have shown that the mean age of menopause in HIV-infected women is 47-48 years. This is likely due to factors other than HIV infection that predict early menopause, such as drug use, smoking, and low socioeconomic status. It may be difficult to separate out HIV symptoms from menopausal symptoms. The additive effects of menopause, HIV infection, and HAART on changes involving bone, lipid, and glucose metabolism need further investigation. Likewise, there is a need for a better understanding of the prevalence and manifestations of depression among these women.

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