Cardiovascular Profile of South African Adults with Low-Level Viremia during Antiretroviral Therapy

Shani Botha-le Roux, Olof Elvstam, Patrick De Boever, Nandu Goswami, Martin Magnusson, Peter M. Nilsson, Hans Strijdom, Per Björkman, Carla M. T. Fourie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chronic inflammation is an HIV infection feature, contributing to elevated risk of cardiovascular disease among people with HIV, which can be induced by viral replication. A proportion of antiretroviral therapy (ART) recipients fail to achieve viral suppression, despite not meeting criteria for treatment failure, so-called low-level viremia (LLV). We investigated the relationship between LLV and an array of cardiovascular measures and biomarkers. South Africans with LLV (viral load = 50–999 copies/mL) and virological suppression (viral load <50 copies/mL) were selected from the EndoAfrica study (all receiving efavirenz-based ART) for cross-sectional comparison of vascular structure and function measures, as well as 21 plasma biomarkers related to cardiovascular risk and inflammation. Associations were investigated with univariate, multivariate, and binomial logistic regression analyses (having outcome measures above (cases) or below (controls) the 75th percentile). Among 208 participants, 95 (46%) had LLV, and 113 (54%) had viral suppression. The median age was 44 years, 73% were women, and the median ART duration was 4.5 years. Cardiovascular measures and biomarker levels were similar between these two categories. Cardiovascular function and structure measures were not associated with viremia status and having LLV did not increase the odds of having outcome measures above the 75th percentile. In this study among South African ART recipients, LLV did not associate with cardiovascular risk.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2812
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Infectious Medicine


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