Q and A


Should I be worried about fibrinogen and c-reactive protein levels?

After reading about fibrinogen and C-reactive protein levels being an indicator of early death, should I, being HIV positive, ask my doctor to test for these levels in myself?


Thank you for your question.

C-reactive protein (CRP) is a protein released when there is inflammation, so when your immune system is responding to an infection. Fibrinogen is a blood clotting factor.

Both CRP and fibrinogen have been found to be associated with heart attacks which can lead to death but not always. You can ask your doctor to test for these levels if you want but it is not a standard test to do for people with HIV.

There is no treatment for elevated levels of CRP or fibrinogen but your doctor can use the results of these tests to decide how aggressively to attack the risk factors associated with increased levels of CRP and fibrinogen.

As someone with HIV, your levels of CRP may be slightly elevated if you are not yet taking medication. When you are not taking medication your body is constantly fighting the infection, which results in increased inflammation. Once you are on treatment and the virus is at undetectable levels the inflammation related to HIV should go down.

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