Diabetes, hyperglycaemia and insulin resistance

Diabetes mellitus is a condition caused by the inability to use sugar in the blood properly. A high level of blood sugar, called hyperglycaemia, is a sign of diabetes. Diabetes is defined as a fasting glucose level over 7 millimols per litre.

People with diabetes are at increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, blindness, and nerve damage. Diabetes is treated with injections of insulin or with oral hypoglycaemic drugs. Dietary change, such as reducing sugar intake, may be advised.

Insulin is a hormone used to regulate sugar levels in the blood. Insulin resistance means the body is not able to use insulin properly to regulate sugar. Insulin resistance is one of the causes of diabetes, along with a lack of insulin. High levels of insulin resistance have been noted in individuals with fat accumulation and with lipoatrophy (fat wasting). Elevated insulin levels and insulin resistance have been identified as risk factors for developing buffalo hump.1 2


  1. Mallon P et al. Buffalo hump seen in HIV-associated lipodystrophy is associated with hyperinsulinemia but not dyslipidemia. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 38:156-162, 2005b
  2. Grunfeld C et al. Association of upper trunk and visceral adipose tissue volume with insulin resistance in control and HIV-infected subjects in the Fat Redistribution and Metabolic Change in HIV Infection study. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr, advance e-publication, 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 It may have been superseded by more recent developments.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.