CROI 2022: Telomere shortening associated with TAF but not TDF in CHARTER study

CROI 2022Simon Collins, HIV i-Base

A poster at CROI 2022 from the CHARTER study reported that TAF was associated with telomere shortening, but not tenofovir disoproxil. [1] 

This was in 121 HIV positive people first assessed from 2003–7 and again a median of 12 years later – but this had the significant limitation that baseline samples were not available for TAF because it had not yet been developed.

Last month, a prospective 17-year study from the Swiss HIV Cohort reported that untreated HIV was associated with significant reductions in telomere length (TL) but that effective ART stopped further damage. This study did not find any association with individual HIV drugs. [2, 3]


  1. Upal R et al. Tenofovir alafenamide is associated with shorter telomere length in people with HIV. CROI 2022. Poster abstract 625.
  2. HIV-associated reductions in telomere length are stopped by effective ART. HTB February 2022.
  3. Schoepf IC et al for the Swiss HIV Cohort Study. Telomere length declines in persons living with HIV before antiretroviral therapy start but not after viral suppression: a longitudinal study over >17 years. J Infect Dis. 2021 Dec 15:jiab603. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiab603. (21 December 2021).

This report was first published on 13 February 2022.

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