Study Indicates Source of Rapid Aging and Chronic Inflammation in Patients Living with HIV

Young hispanic man with serious expression holding hiv awareness red ribbon at city.A new AIDS study from the University of Alberta has found that people living with HIV have a higher risk of rapid aging and chronic inflammation. The groundbreaking research found that elusive white blood cells called neutrophils play a role in impaired T-cell functions and counts. It was also found that the associated chronic inflammation common with the virus plays a role.

Neutrophils are a part of the body’s immune system and the most abundant type of white blood cell. They make up approximately 60 to 80% of circulating immune cells in the blood. Unlike other white blood cell types, neutrophils are short-lived and cannot be frozen and thawed as other immune cells can. This makes them extremely difficult to examine in a research setting.

The Study


Researchers examined the fresh blood of 116 people living with HIV and 60 others without the virus for the study. Comprehensive sequencing on all genes expressed in the neutrophils was analyzed from both groups of participants to determine any differences between them.

Study lead Shokrollah Elahi said, “We found that not all HIV infected individuals have similar types of neutrophils. As the HIV disease progresses, neutrophils become more activated and more potent, and in turn activate the body’s T cells, which most likely causes some of the problems associated with HIV infection such as inflammation and rapid aging.”

Researchers believe that neutrophils can act as an early alarm system. When they detect dangerous compounds such as an invading microbe, they release proteins to signal other immune cells to the danger. One of these proteins released has been previously linked to severe inflammation.

The study of neutrophils has revealed that the reaction of shedding proteins has been associated with oxidative stress, a state in which the body cannot naturally detoxify from specific molecules that can become harmful to cells.

Based on these findings, researchers believe that they may be able to stop some of the progression of oxidative stress in HIV patients. If the virus is caught early enough in those with HIV, it can help to stop the disease progression and reduce many of the complications associated with AIDS.

Author Bio

Sarah began her interest in nutritional healing at an early age. After going through health problems and becoming frustrated with the conventional ways doctors wanted to treat her illness (which were not working), she took it upon herself to find alternative treatments. This led her to revolutionize her own diet to help her get healthier and tackle her health problems. She began treating her illness by living a more balanced lifestyle through healthy food choices, exercise and other alternative medicine such as meditation. This total positive lifestyle change led her to earn a diploma in Nutritional Therapy from Health Sciences Academy in London, England. Today, Sarah enjoys helping others by teaching healthy lifestyle changes through her personal consultations and with her regular contributions to the Doctors Health Press. Also, passionate about following her dreams in life, Sarah moved to France and lived in Paris for over 5 years where she earned a certification in beadwork and embroidery from Lesage (an atelier owned by Chanel). She then went on to be a familiar face sitting front row and reporting from Paris Fashion Week. Sarah continues to practice some of the cultural ways of life she learned while in Europe. They enjoy their food, and take the time to relax and enjoy many of life’s little moments. These are life lessons she is glad to have brought back home with her.


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