Biological Aging in People Living with HIV on Successful Antiretroviral Therapy: Do They Age Faster?

Curr HIV/AIDS Rep. 2023 Jan 25. doi: 10.1007/s11904-023-00646-0. Online ahead of print.


Purpose of review: In the absence of a prophylactic/therapeutic vaccine or cure, the most amazing achievement in the battle against HIV was the discovery of effective, well-tolerated combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). The primary research question remains whether PLWH on prolonged successful therapy has accelerated, premature, or accentuated biological aging. In this review, we discuss the current understanding of the immunometabolic profile in PLWH, potentially associated with biological aging, and a better understanding of the mechanisms and temporal dynamics of biological aging in PLWH.

Recent findings: Biological aging, defined by the epigenetic alterations analyzed by the DNA methylation pattern, has been reported in PLWH with cART that points towards epigenetic age acceleration. The hastened development of specific clinical geriatric syndromes like cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, cancers, liver diseases, neurocognitive diseases, persistent low-grade inflammation, and a shift toward glutamate metabolism in PLWH may potentiate a metabolic profile at-risk for accelerated aging.

Keywords: Antiretroviral therapy; Biological aging; Immunometabolism; People living with HIV.

Publication types

  • Review