induces early aging in people it infects, accelerating the onset of age-associated biological changes in the . The said changes observed by scientists at the University of California and their colleagues often appear within two or three years after infection and shorten the life of people about five years, compared to a healthy person.
HIV prematurely ages the body
« Our work demonstrates that even in the first months and years of living with HIV, the virus has already engaged in a rapid DNA aging process. »,, professor emeritus at UCLA. The genetic changes observed in blood samples taken from 102 male volunteers are epigenetic in nature ( of DNA), i.e. they do not alter the but their expression.
The virus has already begun a rapid aging process at the DNA level
Scientists analyzed five: four are “clocks” that estimate the acceleration of the biological age and the last is the length of the the end of the chromosomes whose structure protects them from erosion.
Compared with samples taken from healthy volunteers of the same age and at the same time, HIV-positive people show a significant acceleration of their biological aging — between 1.9 and 4.8 years — as well as longer telomeres. short, only two to three years after the onset of the initial infection.
These interesting observations come up against several limitations: the small number of participants – all men, mostly white – does not allow generalizations to be made to women or ethnic minorities, who are also victims of HIV. The definition of age and the markers that testify to normal aging are still debated within the scientific community.