HIV and the menopause

Maria D. Fan, Bat Sheva Maslow, Nanette Santoro, Ellie Schoenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Dramatic improvement in the survival of the HIV population has occurred with the ascendance of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). In the foreseeable future, HIV-infected women who acquired disease during the peak years of the epidemic are expected to survive to experience menopause and even years beyond. The HIV epidemic may be viewed as ‘mature’, as its earlier victims become part of the geriatric population. Research about the process of menopause in HIV-infected women and, conversely, about HIV infection in women undergoing menopause is currently limited. Existing research suggests that the process of menopause is affected by HIV infection, inasmuch as infected women appear to experience menopause at an earlier age, with greater symptomatology, and with different reproductive hormone profiles compared with HIV-uninfected women. HIV infection also appears to affect bone mineral density, cardiovascular disease and cognition, with some age-related interactions. Lifestyle and demographic factors have pervasive importance for both HIV infection and the menopause in women. This article reviews the current state of knowledge about the menopausal process in HIV-infected women, and the common conditions in postmenopausal women that are likely to be affected by HIV infection. Clinicians should appreciate the potential role of HIV infection in caring for menopause-aged women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-168
Number of pages6
JournalMenopause International
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone density
  • HIV
  • cardiovascular diseases
  • cognition
  • menopause

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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