The Unexpected Effect HIV Has On The Body's Aging Process

HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is a serious condition that can lead to a number of health problems. Now, new research suggests that HIV may also speed up the body's aging process. A June 2022 study published in iScience found that HIV can speed up cellular aging within just a few years of infection. This suggests that people without HIV may live up to five years longer than those with the virus based on cellular aging alone (via Healthline).

While there is currently no cure for HIV, there are treatments available that can help people manage the virus and extend their life expectancy. However, the new study's findings suggest that even with treatment, HIV may still have an impact on aging. The study authors hope that this encourages people to not take HIV lightly. It is still a serious medical issue that can impact your life, even if you find success in treating it with medication.

What to know about HIV

HIV is a virus that attacks the body's immune system. The virus can damage the immune system so much that it can't fight off other infections and illnesses, which can lead to AIDS. HIV is caused by contact with certain bodily fluids from an infected person (via Mayo Clinic). The virus can enter the body through breaks in the skin, such as open sores or cuts, or through mucous membranes.

HIV is typically spread through sexual contact with an infected person. It can also be spread through sharing needles or other injection equipment with an infected person, or from an infected mother to her child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. HIV can lead to AIDS. AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV infection, and can weaken the immune system to the point where it can no longer fight off other infections and illnesses (via People with AIDS often get infections and illnesses that wouldn't make a healthy person sick. There is no cure for HIV, but there are treatments available that can help people manage the virus and extend their life. With proper treatment, people with HIV can live long, healthy lives.