HIV/AIDS and CKD/ESRD: An Alphabet Soup of Awareness

By Tony B. Director of Research and Information

tony's blog

December 1st was World AIDS Awareness Day and I wanted to show how this disease relates to kidney disease. I meant to post this closer to the date of the day, however life happened and more specifically a multi-day board retreat (look for a blog shortly recapping the event). However, I have always believed it is better late than never.

I don’t have HIV or AIDS, but I do have a lot of experience with patients that have the diseases. When I was first learning to draw blood ages ago, one of my very first (unfortunate for them because I was awful at first) patients had AIDS. During the draw the patient apologized for their condition and putting me in harm’s way. I was shocked that anyone would ever feel the need to apologize for their condition and it is something that has stuck with me ever since. Over my time at the Veteran’s hospital, I encountered many more patients in a similar state and always tried to treat them exactly the same as all of my other patients.

As many of you know, we have all been patients at some point and it isn’t fun when someone shies away because you have chickenpox or treats you differently due to something out of your control. Kidney disease and HIV/AIDS are more linked than many people know. Roughly 10% of patients with HIV develop kidney disease. This can be caused by the virus itself or medication used to treat the condition.

HIV positive patients that develop CKD or are at a higher risk for CKD can work with their doctors to develop treatment regimens that manage either diseases or help prevent the onset of kidney disease. Patients that develop ESRD, contrary to popular belief, are eligible for transplants, but could face additional challenges. If you or a family member are HIV positive or have AIDS, it is a good idea to get tested for kidney disease, and a simple urine test could unmask an undiagnosed disease.

I hope this article at least got you thinking and as always, please share any comment below.


  1. Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your
    website is wonderful, as well as the content!

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