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Vitamin D levels among HIV-infected patients – peculiar features


25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) plays an essential role in the homeostasis of calcium and bone metabolism, but it is acknowledged as an immunomodulator as well. Several studies have described a high prevalence of 25[OH]D deficiency in HIV-infected patients, as well as its role in predicting disease progression.


We performed a descriptive, cross-sectional study on a group of 68 HIV-infected patients monitored in the Regional HIV/AIDS Centre Mureş, during December 2012-February 2013. We determined plasma levels of 25[OH]D. We estimated the proportion of patients with 25[OH]D deficiency/insufficiency and correlated 25[OH]D levels to HIV-RNA plasma viral load, CD4+ T-cells count and associated pathology. Data were compared to those obtained from a group of healthy, HIV-negative volunteers. Statistical analysis was performed using the GraphPad program.


We studied 68 C-stage HIV-infected patients, 40 male: 28 female, with an average age of 26 and a median of 23. The average plasma 25[OH]D level was 30.94 ng/mL, median 30 ng/mL in HIV-positive patients compared to an average of 44.72 ng/mL and median 39.82 ng/mL in HIV-negative subjects (p=0.0109). 25[OH]D deficiency <20 ng/mL was found in 23.52% HIV-infected patients, while 26.47% HIV-positive subjects had medium levels of 25[OH]D insufficiency, between 20-30 ng/mL. Only 2 patients had severe 25[OH]D deficiency, below 10 ng/mL. We did not find any statistically significant correlations of 25[OH]D levels with CD4+ T-cells level, HIV-RNA plasma viral load or protease inhibitor therapy. Patients with HIV-tuberculosis co-infection had significantly lower levels of 25[OH]D (p=0.0454) than HIV-positive subjects without tuberculosis.


25[OH]D plasma levels are lower in HIV-infected patients compared to the general population. Low 25[OH]D levels are reported in patients with HIV-tuberculosis co-infection. Low 25[OH]D levels may indicate unfavorable outcome in HIV-infected patients.

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Correspondence to Carmen Chiriac.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Chiriac, C., Zaharia-Kezdi, I.E., Ţilea, B. et al. Vitamin D levels among HIV-infected patients – peculiar features. BMC Infect Dis 13 (Suppl 1), P11 (2013).

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