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Ther Adv Chronic Dis. 2013 Mar;4(2):61-70. doi: 10.1177/2040622312471840.

HIV stroke risk: evidence and implications.

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National Neurological AIDS Bank, Department of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, 11645 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 770, Los Angeles, CA 90025, USA.


An estimated 34 million men, women, and children are infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Current technology cannot eradicate HIV-1, and most patients with HIV-1-infection (HIV+) will require lifelong treatment with combined antiretroviral therapy (cART). Stroke was recognized as a complication of HIV-1 infection since the early days of the epidemic. Potential causes of stroke in HIV-1 include opportunistic infections, tumors, atherosclerosis, diabetes, hypertension, autoimmunity, coagulopathies, cardiovascular disease, and direct HIV-1 infection of the arterial wall. Ischemic stroke has emerged as a particularly significant neurological complication of HIV-1 and its treatment due to the aging of the HIV+ population, chronic HIV-1 infection, inflammation, and prolonged exposure to cART. New prevention and treatment strategies tailored to the needs of the HIV+ population are needed to address this issue.


atherosclerosis; cerebrovascular; human immunodeficiency virus type 1; infection; inflammation; stroke

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