Background: The monitoring of the underlying causes of death in people living with HIV/AIDS is important so that actions to reduce morbidity and mortality can be taken.
Objective: To describe the temporal trends of underlying causes of death among people living with HIV/AIDS between 2000 and 2007 in Brazil and to identify factors associated with it.
Methods: The Mortality Information System data for deaths occurred in Brazil between 2000 and 2007 that contained reference to HIV/AIDS in any of the death certificate fields was analyzed. Temporal trends of the underlying cause of death were studied. Differences in the underlying cause of death according to gender, age, region of residence, level of education, certifying officer, race and year of death were verified.
Results: Between 2000 and 2007 the percentage of deaths not related to HIV/AIDS among people living with HIV/AIDS increased from 2.5% to 7.0%. People with higher level of formal education, living in the South-East region of Brazil and aged under 13 or over 60 years old were more likely to have their underlying cause of death reported as not related to HIV/AIDS.
Conclusion: The results suggest the importance of implementing actions aimed at improving the quality of life of PLWHA, and which could include behavioral changes, such as smoking and alcoholism cessation, early screening to detect neoplasms and the monitoring of chronic conditions, such as diabetes. That is to say, the need exists to integrate the actions of HIV/AIDS programs with other public health programs.