Understanding frailty, aging, and inflammation in HIV infection

Curr HIV/AIDS Rep. 2015 Mar;12(1):25-32. doi: 10.1007/s11904-014-0247-3.


Frailty is a clinical syndrome initially characterized in geriatric populations with a hallmark of age-related declines in physiologic reserve and function and increased vulnerability to adverse health outcomes. Recently, frailty has increasingly been recognized as a common and important HIV-associated non-AIDS (HANA) condition. This article provides an overview of our current understanding of frailty and its phenotypic characteristics and evidence that they are related to aging and to chronic inflammation that is associated with aging and also with long-term treated HIV infection. The etiology of this chronic inflammation is unknown but we discuss evidence linking it to persistent infection with cytomegalovirus in both geriatric populations and people living with HIV infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / complications*
  • Frail Elderly*
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • Humans
  • Immune System Diseases / etiology*
  • Immune System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Inflammation / etiology*
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Interleukin-6 / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Interleukin-6