HIV/AIDS (Human immunodeficiency virus/ Acquired immuno deficiency syndrome) is a growing global problem, in terms of its incidence and mortality. Patients with HIV/AIDS are living much longer with HAART (Highly active antiretroviral therapy) therapy so much so that HIV/AIDS has now become a part of the chronic disease burden, like hypertension and diabetes. Patients with HIV/AIDS and symptoms suggestive of cardiac disease represent a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge in clinical practice; Cardiologists are more frequently encountering this problem. An algorithmic, anatomic approach to diagnosis, localizing disease to the endocardium, myocardium and pericardium can be useful. An intimate knowledge of opportunistic infections affecting the heart, effects of HAART therapy and therapy for opportunistic infections on the heart is needed to be able to formulate a differential diagnosis. Effects of HAART therapy, especially protease inhibitors on lipid and glucose metabolism, and their influence on progression to premature vascular disease require consideration. Treatment of cardiac disease, in HIV/AIDS patients can vary from non-HIV patients, based on drug interactions, differences in responsiveness, and other factors; and this area requires further research.
Keywords: HIV/AIDS, heart, cardiomyopathy, heart failure, anti-retroviral drugs, opportunistic infections
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