Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 119–125

Bone and vitamin D metabolism in HIV

  • Aristotle Panayiotopoulos
  • Nandini Bhat
  • Amrit Bhangoo

DOI: 10.1007/s11154-013-9246-8

Cite this article as:
Panayiotopoulos, A., Bhat, N. & Bhangoo, A. Rev Endocr Metab Disord (2013) 14: 119. doi:10.1007/s11154-013-9246-8


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection has progressed to a chronic disease and HIV positive individuals are living longer lives. This has lead to an increase in morbidity and mortality due to secondary issues, one being HIV bone disease. HIV infected pediatric and adult populations have a greater incidence in reduction of BMD as compared to the controls. Osteoporosis has been reported to be present in up to 15 % of HIV positive patients. We are starting to understand the mechanism behind the changes in HIV bone disease. Viral proteins interfere with osteoblastic activity either by direct interaction or by the inflammatory process that they induce. Anti-viral management, including highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), protease inhibitors, and nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI) also are involved in disrupting proper bone metabolism. Vitamin D levels have strong correlation with bone disease in HIV patients, and are dependent not only to chronic disease state, but interaction of pharmacologic management and inflammatory process as well. Work up of the secondary causes of osteopenia and osteoporosis should be undertaken in all patients. DEXA scan is recommended in all post-menopausal women with HIV, all HIV infected men 50 years of age or older and in those with a history of fragility fractures regardless of age or gender. Preventive measures include adequate nutrition, calcium and Vitamin D intake daily, muscle strengthening and balance exercises to increase BMD and reduce fractures. Bisphosphonates are considered to be the first line for the treatment of HIV associated bone disease. This review will describe how the balanced mechanism of bone metabolism is interrupted by the HIV infection itself, the complications that arise from HIV/AIDS, and its treatment options.


Hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axisHIVAIDSCytokinesGlucocorticoids



Protease inhibitors


Anti-retroviral therapies


Bone mineral density


Nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitor

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aristotle Panayiotopoulos
    • 1
  • Nandini Bhat
    • 2
  • Amrit Bhangoo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pediatric EndocrinologyChildren’s Hospital at SUNY Downstate, Kings County Hospital Center, and Infants and Children’s Hospital at MaimonidesBrooklynUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsKings County Hospital Center and Children’s Hospital at SUNY DownstateBrooklynUSA