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HIV Finds A Way To The Heart!
Dec 2013
Dr P K Sahoo
Sr Consultant Interventional Cardiologist Apollo Hospitals, Bhubaneswar

Patients infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) are at an increased risk for developing heart diseases. From infection to cancer, various ailments can trouble the heart of HIV patients.

Infections Of The Heart

AIDs patients may suffer from infections such as endocarditis and pericarditis.

Endocarditis

  • Endocarditis is a condition in which the inner lining of the heart is infected.
  • Infection from the bloodstream spreads to the heart. As HIV patients have weakened immunity, they are more vulnerable to infections that cause endocarditis.
  • Symptoms include chills, fever, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, night sweats, shortness of breath, constant cough, blood in urine, sudden weight loss, heart murmur and swelling in the abdomen or legs.
  • If left untreated, endocarditis could impair the heart valves and permanently damage the heart’s lining.
  • Treatment involves intravenous (IV) antibiotics to treat the infection. Type of antibiotic and duration of the treatment depends on the type and severity of the infection, and the patient's health.