Reports have shown that fractures happen much earlier in people living with HIV than those who are HIV-negative. As reported by AIDS Map, bone problems such as osteopenia and osteoporosis are more common among people living with the virus, which means men and women who are HIV-positive have a higher risk of bone fractures.
Researchers wrote their findings in a report published in AIDS. According to the study, which consisted only of men, incidents of bone fractures for those who were HIV-positive in their 50s doubled that of HIV-negative men. What’s more, investigators saw incidences beginning to appear much earlier in HIV-positive men.
"An increase of bone fractures were found among 50 - 59-year-old HIV-positive men, highlighting the importance of osteoporosis screening for HIV-infected men above the age of 50,” researchers wrote.
While it’s uncertain at what age an HIV-positive person should start screening themselves for bone fractures, the study shows the risk for bone fractures increased in HIV-positive people who also have hepatitis C. Other risk factors included adding, smoking, body weight, and alcohol use.
After studying data from 1,221 HIV-positive men and 1,408 HIV-negative men, researchers began following up and discovered that overall 379 men experienced fractures, which rounded out to about 11 fractures per 1000 people — 182 fractures occurred in someone who was HIV-positive and 197 occurred in someone who was HIV-negative.
According to AIDS Map, “fracture incidence among HIV-negative men was similar for those in their 40s and 50s,” which increased once they hit 60. But for those with HIV, there was an increased incidence of fractures for men in their 50s as well as those over 60.
“We found that HIV (positive) participants had higher incidence of all fractures and fragility fractures compared with HIV (negative) controls and that the rate of fracture was higher among HIV (positive) men aged 50-59 years compared with HIV (negative) participants of a similar age,” the authors wrote.
Needless to say, it’s never too early to start screening yourself for bone fractures.