HIV/AIDS Treatment Therapies Produce Vitamin D Deficiency in Patients


HIV/AIDS Treatment Therapies Produce Vitamin D Deficiency in Patients

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a human body infection that damages your immune system by lowering the body’s ability to fight infection and disease.  Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that is needed for the human body for health and to maintain strong bones. Its helps the body to absorb calcium that is one of the main building blocks of the bone. Calcifediol is also known as 25(OH)D is a hormone in the human body and its deficiency leads to the decreased level of vitamin D in HIV infection. A decreased level of vitamin D in HIV infection may be due to a pre-existing deficiency of 25(OH)D leading to disruption in vitamin D metabolism. This condition may also be caused due to inadequate nutritional intake and less exposure to sunlight.

Vitamin D deficiency may arise in both healthy and ill individuals while this incidence may also increases in patients with tuberculosis (TB). This Deficiency in healthy individuals is linked to several risks like sedentary lifestyle, old age, less exposure to ultraviolet radiation, and a routine to avoid exposure to sunlight. Medication may also play a role in decreasing vitamin D levels. Efavirenz (EFV) is an anti-retroviral medication used to treat HIV/AIDS. Nylén et al. (2016) reported that EFV contributes to decreased vitamin D level, due to it being a strong inducer of several enzymes which were known to be linked with vitamin D metabolism.

Coagulation disorders are the body’s disability to control blood clotting. HIV/AIDS patients also facing problems related to coagulation abnormalities. Certain factors are related to these disorders like age, viral load, CD4 concentration, opportunistic infections, and side effects of certain medicines. Complications due to these abnormalities may include stroke, cardiovascular diseases, thromboembolism and sometimes HIV/AIDS mortality.

Korzonek-Szlacheta et al. (2018) and   Cure et al. (2014) studied that several factors like pro-inflammatory cytokine levels, mean platelet volume and platelet reactivity increased due to the deficiency of vitamin D. Available literature also confirmed that HIV infection is often accompanied by vitamin D deficiency and this deficiency is often associated with abnormalities in hematological parameters.

Pakistan Journal of Nutrition published a research conducted by Mega et al. (2020) to determine the relationship between changes in hematological parameters and vitamin D in HIV/AIDS infection. The researchers found that Low level of vitamin D linked with platelet index in HIV/AIDS patients consuming EFV-based antiretroviral therapy. Further studies with a larger sample size are needed to generate a more precise conclusion.