Body mass index, immune status, and virological control in HIV-infected men who have sex with men

Aaron J. Blashill, Kenneth H. Mayer, Heidi M. Crane, Chris Grasso, Steven A. Safren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


Background and Aims: Prior cross-sectional studies have found inconsistent relationships between body mass index (BMI) and disease progression in HIV-infected individuals. Methods: Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses were conducted on data from a sample of 864 HIV-infected men who have sex with men (MSM) obtained from a large, nationally distributed HIV clinical cohort. Results: Of the 864 HIV-infected MSM, 394 (46%) were of normal weight, 363 (42%) were overweight, and 107 (12%) were obese at baseline. The baseline CD4 count was 493 (standard error [SE] = 9), with viral load (log10) = 2.4 (SE = .04), and 561 (65%) were virologically suppressed. Over time, controlling for viral load, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) adherence, age, and race/ethnicity, overweight and obese HIV-infected men possessed higher CD4 counts than that of normal weight HIV-infected men. Further, overweight and obese men possessed lower viral loads than that of normal weight HIV-infected men. Conclusions: For HIV-infected MSM, in this longitudinal cohort study, possessing a heavier than normal BMI is longitudinally associated with improved immunological health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-324
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013



  • CD4
  • body mass index
  • obesity
  • viral load

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases

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