A case report from the University of Colorado, Denver, has strongly linked diabetes and HIV infection in the case of an African man . The report is published in the April issue of the online version of clinical infectious diseases.
Although diabetes can be caused by antiretroviral therapy, particularly when it is conducted with protease inhibitors, this report clearly illustrates that uncontrolled HIV replication could actually cause diabetes.
The patient, an African man in his early fifties, was suffering from many of the usual symptoms of diabetes, despite treatment with metformin. These included excessive thirst and urination, tiredness, and blurred vision. He was also suffering from elevated blood sugar levels and haemoglobin levels. Later, when he was treated with a combination of HIV drugs, his fasting glucose levels fell below diabetic levels.
According to the doctors involved in the study: “Our case suggests that HIV infection itself may precipitate type II diabetes mellitus and that effective viral suppression can reverse this disorder. In two other cases, treatment of advanced HIV infection was also associated with apparent resolution of apparent type II diabetes mellitus. Interestingly, the men with these cases were also of African descent.”
The future will hopefully uncover the true relationship between diabetes and HIV infection.

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