Monday, January 8, 2024

Complications with Aging HIV

Emergency Oral Surgery
I have brittle bones, and this extends to my teeth. Despite taking vitamin D supplements for over four years, the long-term effects of HIV are taking a toll. This isn’t a concern for newly diagnosed or recent patients, but as a 42-year-old with HIV, my bone density is diminishing. 

Annually, I undergo a bone density scan to assess overall bone health. I’ve dealt with early onset osteoporosis in my hips and lower back for years, and now these issues are spreading. HIV depletes minerals and sucks the life out of my bones and marrow, revealing the impact of living with the virus for so long, despite being undetected. 

HIV resides dormant in my bone marrow’s T-Cells, the epicenter of our immune system, harvesting minerals and reducing bone density. Although HAART therapy makes the virus undetected in lab tests, it’s still present. After 40 years of infection, I have weakened bones and compromised immunity.  

Low bone mineral density (BMD) is common in HIV-infected individuals. Starting antiretroviral therapy leads to a 2%-6% BMD decrease over the initial two years, comparable to menopausal changes (Source: 

I fear this signals the start of more incidents due to compromised bone density. The tooth has been temporarily fixed; a permanent porcelain crown is scheduled for February. I’ll provide updates in the future.

Cracked Molar with exposed nerve

Fixed Molar prepared for Crown

Dental Dam with compound application