Left untreated, HIV causes changes to cellular DNA comparable to 14 years of ageing, according to findings. DNA extracted from the blood cells of treatmentnaïve HIV-positive men aged between 20 and 56 were compared with those of HIV-negative men. Researchers at the UCLA AIDS Institute and Centre for AIDS Research discovered that the positive cohort seemed to be 14 years older than their chronological age.
“This number is in line with both anecdotal and published data suggesting that treated HIVinfected adults can develop the diseases of ageing approximately a decade earlier than their uninfected peers,” said one of the study’s senior authors. “These results are an important first step to finding potential therapeutic approaches to mitigate the effects of both HIV and ageing.”