According to a global study, HIV infection doubles the risk of heart disease.
Analysis of global figures reveals that HIV-associated cardiovascular disease has more than tripled in the past 20 years as more people are living longer with the virus.
The greatest impact is in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia Pacific regions, with Swaziland, Botswana and Lesotho particularly affected.
Researchers say the findings will help to target treatments to people facing the greatest risk, helping to maximise resources in countries with limited healthcare funding.
An international team of experts, led by the University of Edinburgh, reviewed studies from 153 countries to determine the rate of heart disease in people living with HIV.
They also calculated the number of years lost as a result of death or ill-health in each country to measure the disease’s global impact – or so-called health burden.
The research, which included studies with almost 800,000 people, found the risk of cardiovascular disease among people living with HIV was double the rate among uninfected people.
More than two-thirds of the burden of HIV-associated heart disease was found in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia Pacific regions, the study found.