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Contemporary issues and new challenges in chronic kidney disease amongst people living with HIV

  • Heron, Jack Edward1
  • Bagnis, Corinne Isnard2
  • Gracey, David M.1, 3
  • 1 Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, NSW, Australia , Camperdown (Australia)
  • 2 Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière, 47 Boulevard de l’Hôpital, Paris, 75013, France , Paris (France)
  • 3 The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia , Sydney (Australia)
Published Article
AIDS Research and Therapy
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Mar 16, 2020
DOI: 10.1186/s12981-020-00266-3
Springer Nature


Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a comorbidity of major clinical significance amongst people living with HIV (PLWHIV) and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The prevalence of CKD is rising, despite the widespread use of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and is increasingly related to prevalent non-infectious comorbidities (NICMs) and antiretroviral toxicity. There are great disparities evident, with the highest prevalence of CKD among PLWHIV seen in the African continent. The aetiology of kidney disease amongst PLWHIV includes HIV-related diseases, such as classic HIV-associated nephropathy or immune complex disease, CKD related to NICMs and CKD from antiretroviral toxicity. CKD, once established, is often relentlessly progressive and can lead to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Identifying patients with risk factors for CKD, and appropriate screening for the early detection of CKD are vital to improve patient outcomes. Adherence to screening guidelines is variable, and often poor. The progression of CKD may be slowed with certain clinical interventions; however, data derived from studies involving PLWHIV with CKD are sparse and this represent an important area for future research. The control of blood pressure using angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers, in particular, in the setting of proteinuria, likely slows the progression of CKD among PLWHIV. The cohort of PLWHIV is facing new challenges in regards to polypharmacy, drug–drug interactions and adverse drug reactions. The potential nephrotoxicity of ART is important, particularly as cumulative ART exposure increases as the cohort of PLWHIV ages. The number of PLWHIV with ESRD is increasing. PLWHIV should not be denied access to renal replacement therapy, either dialysis or kidney transplantation, based on their HIV status. Kidney transplantation amongst PLWHIV is successful and associated with an improved prognosis compared to remaining on dialysis. As the cohort of PLWHIV ages, comorbidity increases and CKD becomes more prevalent; models of care need to evolve to meet the new and changing chronic healthcare needs of these patients.

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