A Role for Dietary Protein in the AIDS Wasting Syndrome and Heart Disease?
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) shook the American nation in the early 1980s. Since that time, extensive research has been devoted to understanding the disease and finding answers to the many questions that arise from it. With the “discovery” of AIDS, numerous other diseases associated with the virus have emerged. Along with cancers, lymphomas, and immune diseases, heart disease has emerged as a risk for those living with AIDS. The etiology of and risk factors for heart disease in AIDS patients need further clarification. While there is yet no cure for HIV, AIDS, or many of the complications that arise from these diseases, there are numerous therapies devoted to reducing the suffering associated with AIDS as well as helping to prolong life. With increasing knowledge of the AIDS disease itself and how it relates to the risk for other diseases, nutrition-specifically adequate protein intake-emerges as an essential factor in the treatment of the progression from HIV to AIDS. Protein also appears to have a role in the treatment of AIDS-related conditions like the AIDS wasting syndrome.