Timing of menopause: experiences of women in Swiss HIV Cohort

Simon Collins, HIV i-Base

This important European cohort reported the median age at menopause was 50 (range: 32 to 55 years), with 115 women (10%) having an early menopause (defined by occurring under 45), and 23 (2%) with premature ovarian insufficiency (when under 40). 

The analysis included 1,130 women who reported menopause (defined as being without menstrual bleeding for at least 12 months). Approximately 67% were Caucasian and 25% were African.

Several issues related to management were reported.

Firstly, that although menopause occurred approximatly two years earlier than HIV negative women, this was largely linked to African women.

Secondly, that rates of documented depression were high (at 27%), which in multivariate analyses was linked to African race (adj OR: 4.2; 95% CI: 2.5 to 7.2), but not HIV-related factors.

Thirdly, that within three years after documentation of menopause, only 11% of women received hormone replacement therapy, and only 27% had a bone mineral density measurement to evaluate the risk for osteoporosis.

The study concluded that awareness and management of menopause should be improved as an important part of HIV care. As the average age of HIV positive people in this cohort increases the proportion of women in menopause rose from 11.5% in 2010 to 36% in 2018.


Hachfeld A et al. Women with HIV transitioning through menopause: Insights from the Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS)  HIV Medicine 2022 Feb 22. doi: 10.1111/hiv.13255.

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