Cardiac risk in women

There is some concern that the lessened risk of atherosclerosis in women may be undermined by greater increases in lipid levels among women. A small prospective study of 27 men and 13 women with HIV and 35 healthy controls found that triglycerides, cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels increased more significantly in women than in men after starting HAART, and that sex differences in the LDL:HDL cholesterol ratio disappeared as a consequence. Thus, risk assessments which assume that female sex reduces the risk of heart disease may be flawed.1

In fact, 2007 data from Boston indicate that the increased risk of heart attacks is especially pronounced in women. The study, which included a significant number of women, found that HIV-positive women were much more likely than men to have experienced heart attacks, and that HIV-positive women had a 300% increased chance of heart attack when compared to HIV-negative people even after controlling for other risk factors including lipid levels. 2


  1. Pernerstorfer-Schoen HE et al. Sex differences in HAART-associated dyslipidemia. AIDS 15: 725-734, 2001
  2. Triant VA et al. Increased acute myocardial infarction rates and cardiovascular risk factors among patients with HIV disease. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 92: 2506-512, 2007
Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap

This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.