Chronic pain in people with HIV: a common comorbidity and threat to quality of life.

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Evidence indicates that over half of all people with HIV (PWH) will experience nonmalignant chronic pain throughout their lifetimes, with increasing prevalence as they age. Peripheral neuropathy resulting from the neurotoxic effects of HIV itself and the medications used to treat HIV were widely considered the primary cause of acute and chronic pain early on in the antiretroviral treatment era. However, recent studies suggest a predominance of non-neuropathic (e.g., musculoskeletal) pain in PWH with uncertain etiology. Chronic pain is often widespread in PWH, affecting multiple body locations. Additional research is needed to better understand contributors to chronic pain in PWH, which is likely to include biological (e.g., immune dysregulation), psychological (e.g., substance abuse) and social (e.g., stigma) factors.

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