Age, HIV drugs and heart disease

Orange heartHIV drugs are very safe for your heart but a few are not recommended.

The biggest risks for heart disease are smoking cigarettes, poor diet and low exercise – or not being on ART.

HIV drugs linked to heart disease are abacavir, maraviroc and darunavir. Also, some older drugs that are now rarely used (ddI, fosamprenavir/r, lopinavir/r and saquinavir/r).

Your HIV doctor should check your risk of heart disease online when you are diagnosed, before ART and then every year.

BHIVA recommend several online risk calculators:

The QIntervention calculator also looks at risk for type-2 diabetes.

The i-Base guide includes detailed info on all main side effects:

HIV and your quality of life: a guide to side effects and long term health

It also covers long-term health issues related to ageing well with HIV.

This link includes info on every HIV drug:

Information on individual ARVs


NHS Better Health: quit smoking apps and tips

As with HIV negative people, lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of heart disease is good advice if you are HIV positive.

The mind is very complex. I think the child in me had wished this nasty thing away for so long – acknowledging yet not acknowledging.

— Faith, Luton

Last updated: 1 June 2022.