High-sensitivity C-reactive protein among people living with HIV on highly active antiretroviral therapy: A systemic review and meta-analysis


The pathological consequences of inflammation persist in people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (PLWH), regardless of the positive outcomes of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). The current systematic review and meta-analysis aims to understand and explore the levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and other cardiovascular disease (CVD)-risk factors including lipid profiles among PLWH on HAART. Major electronic databases including PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science were searched to retrieve relevant global literature reporting on hs-CRP levels in PLWH on HAART. A total of twenty-two studies with an average participant age of 40 years were eligible for this systematic review and meta-analysis. Majority of the included studies were from Africa (n = 11), the United States (n = 6), and Europe (n = 5). Our systemic review showed that most studies reported increased levels of hs-CRP among PLWH on HAART when compared to controls (PLWH not on HAART or those without HIV), especially in studies from Africa. This was supported by a meta-analysis showing significantly elevated levels of hs-CRP in PLWH on HAART when compared to PLWH not on HAART (standardised mean difference [SMD] = 0.56; 95% CI = 0.10‑1.01, z = 2.41; p = 0.02) or those without HIV (SMD = 1.19; 95% CI = 0.76‑1.63, z = 5.35; p < 0.001). Where lipid profiles, as a major predictor for CVD risk, were also impaired in PLWH on HAART when compared to PLWH not on HAART and HIV-negative participants. In conclusion, elevated levels of hs-CRP and lipid levels are prevalent in PLWH on HAART, this may increase the risk of CVD complications, especially for those people living in Africa. However, more evidence in larger population studies is required to confirm these outcomes and unveil any possible clinical implications of HAART-induced modulation of hs-CRP levels in PLWH.


Mabhida SE, Mchiza ZJ, Mokgalaboni K, Hanser S, Choshi J, Mokoena H, Ziqubu K, Masilela C, Nkambule BB, Ndwandwe DE, Kengne AP, Dludla PV




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Engagement and Care Cascade
  • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Treatment
  • Co-morbidities
    • Cardiovascular


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