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IntroductionPrevious studies indicate that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infection and combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) can affect bone turnover. Furthermore, HIV-infected patients have lower bone mineral density (BMD) compared to a healthy reference population.ObjectiveTo evaluate the longitudinal effect of HIV-infection and cART on bone turnover markers (BTMs) and BMD in men with primary HIV-infection (PHI).Design, methodsThirty-five PHI-men were divided into two groups, those that received cART for the first time (n = 26) versus no-cART (n = 9). Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was performed on femoral neck (FN), total hip (TH) and lumbar spine (LS) and BTMs (P1NP, alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin, ICTP and CTX) were measured at baseline and follow-up.ResultsAt baseline, the median CD4+ T-cell count was 455 cells/mm3 (IQR 320-620) and plasma viral load 5.4 log10 copies/mL (IQR 4.7-6.0) in the cART treated group, compared to 630 (IQR 590-910) and 4.8 (IQR 4.2-5.1) in the untreated group. The median follow-up time was 60.7 weeks (IQR 24.7-96.0). All BTMs, except ICTP, showed a significant increase during cART versus no changes of BTMs in the untreated group. FN and TH BMD showed a significant decrease in both groups. LS BMD did not change in both groups.ConclusionBone turnover increased in PHI-men treated with cART which was accompanied by a decrease in FN and TH BMD. No increase of bone turnover was seen in untreated PHI-men. Our study suggests that cART results in increased bone turnover and decreased BMD of the hip in PHI-men.

Original publication





PloS one

Publication Date





Department of Clinical Chemistry, Endocrine Laboratory, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


Humans, HIV-1, HIV Infections, Anti-HIV Agents, Bone Remodeling, Bone Density, Adult, Female, Male