Combined antiretroviral therapy (CART) has turned HIV-infection to a treatable chronic disease during which many patients survive to middle and older age. However, they prematurely develop non-AIDS comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). Microcirculatory changes and endothelial dysfunction occur early both in HIV-infected and in aging patients, in whom they usually precede cardiovascular and neurocognitive impairments. Also, mild cognitive involvement has been reported in women during the menopausal transition. Disruption of the blood-brain barrier, as well as microvascular and cerebral blood flow changes, has been reported in HIV patients with HAND, including postmenopausal women. However, most studies addressing this issue included women aged less than 50 years. Whether HIV-infected women growing older with CART would be subsequently exposed to an increased progression of cognitive impairment overtime remains unknown.
Microvascular Function in Aging Among Women Living with HIV.