Frailty and prefrailty in people living with HIV, with focus on women living with HIV

Int J STD AIDS. 2022 Nov;33(13):1106-1110. doi: 10.1177/09564624221127744. Epub 2022 Oct 11.


With the increasing lifespan of people living with HIV (PLWH), frailty and prefrailty are becoming topics which require more attention. The reciprocal interactions between chronic inflammation, comorbidities and frailty demonstrate the complex pathophysiology of frailty and its consequences. Female sex, HIV infection without antiretroviral treatment, reduced CD4 cell count, depression and cardiovascular disease are some of the risk factors for frailty among PLWH. Frailty predisposes to falls and can therefore lead to more frequent fractures, hospitalization and death, especially in women with osteoporosis. Continuous antiretroviral treatment, prevention of comorbidities such as depression and diagnosis of prefrailty are crucial interventions to slow the development of frailty. This review summarizes the literature on frailty in people living with HIV and discusses frailty management strategies in order to improve the health outcomes in women living with HIV.

Keywords: chronic inflammation; comorbidities; frailty; people living with HIV; women living with HIV.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Frailty* / diagnosis
  • Frailty* / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections* / complications
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors