Musculoskeletal conditions in persons living with HIV/AIDS: A scoping review


OBJECTIVE: Globally 37.9 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, and with mortality rates declining, there is an increasing focus on comorbidities including musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders. Therefore, the aim of this scoping review was to generate and summarize an overview of the existing scientific literature dealing with MSK complaints in people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs). METHODS: This scoping review followed the five-stage methodological framework proposed by Arksey and O’Malley. We searched PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Library from inception to June 1, 2020. Two reviewers independently reviewed the articles for eligibility. A data extraction form was used to chart information such as author, year of publication, data source, sample size, country of origin, ethnicity, age, gender, antiretroviral therapy, MSK condition prevalence, and anatomical location. RESULTS: The search identified 10 522 articles. Of these, 27 studies were included after full-text screening for data extraction. Studies were conducted in thirteen different countries with diverse data sources such as outpatient clinic files, hospital records, primary care clinic files, and AIDS Service Organization files. PLWHAs have a variety of MSK conditions. Most studies reported spinal pain such as lower back or neck pain, but pain in the extremities and osteoarthritis (OA) were also represented. However, the frequencies of pain at various anatomical sites were highly variable. CONCLUSION: There is a lack of knowledge regarding MSK conditions in PLWHAs. Future studies designed to specifically study MSK complaints and disabilities are needed to gain a better picture of the impact of these conditions in PLWHAs and to inform prevention and treatment strategies globally in this often-underserved population.


Berg LS, Young JJ, Kopansky-Giles D, Eberspaecher S, Outerbridge G, Hurwitz EL, Hartvigsen J




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Co-morbidities
    • Other


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