Do people with HIV infection have a higher risk of fracture compared with those without HIV infection?

Jennifer Hoy, Benjamin Young

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose of review This review details recent findings that inform the prevalence and incidence of fractures in people living with HIV (PLWH) and examines the effects of HIV infection and antiretroviral therapy (ART), as well as demographics and traditional risk factors on fractures. As antiretroviral guidelines have recently changed to recommend the introduction of ART at diagnosis of HIV infection, the long-term effects of ART on bone health and fracture risk need to be better understood. Recent findings It is apparent that both the effects of HIV infection alone and initiation of ART are associated with significant bone loss in individuals with HIV infection, resulting in osteopenia and osteoporosis. The clinical consequence of low bone mineral density is a greater risk of fragility fractures that are more common in older HIV patients, and those on ART. Frailty occurs at a prevalence of about 10% (about twice that of the general population), and the increased propensity of falls results in greater fracture prevalence, morbidity and mortality. Summary This review examines data from recent cohort studies and clinical trials to inform a better understanding of the complex relationship between the effects of HIV infection, ART and demographics on fractures in PLWH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-305
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in HIV and AIDS
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • Antiretroviral therapy
  • Fractures
  • Frailty
  • HIV

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