Diabetes (high blood sugar levels) and hypertension (high blood pressure) are the most common causes of chronic kidney disease. The rates of both of these conditions are usually significantly higher in people with HIV, and as a result, as people with HIV get older, chronic kidney disease may become more common.
Some HIV treatments have been linked to kidney disease:
- That link has been confirmed with indinavir—a drug now rarely used
- Tenofovir has the very rare side effect of Fanconi syndrome, a disorder of the kidney tubes in which certain substances normally absorbed into the bloodstream by the kidneys are released into the urine instead. The most recent version of Viread (which contains tenofovir) is less toxic to kidneys.
- Ritonavir and ritonavir-boosted formulations are also associated with a slight decline in kidney function.
Kidney disease has often been called a ‘silent disease’ because there are often few symptoms until the disease is severe.
Urinary tract infection can also lead to kidney infection and kidney disease, particularly if it keeps recurring or is left untreated.
Regular health checks, a healthy lifestyle, drinking plenty of water, and taking steps to address related conditions such as diabetes and hypertension can all help minimise the risk of kidney disease developing.
- Your Body Blueprint for HIV and healthy living
- Ahead of Time: A practical guide to growing older with HIV
- AIDSMap Drugs chart for information about drugs that affect the kidneys
This page was published on 19 September, 2011
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