HIV Medications can Lead to Diabetes

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have known for a while that HIV medications can often lead to diabetes. What the researchers did not know was why the patients with HIV started developing diabetes. However, now they do know.

Researchers Discovery

What the researchers discovered was that the HIV protease inhibitors directly interfere with the way blood sugar levels are controlled in the body of people with HIV. This action leads to insulin resistance what happens is the body produces enough insulin for the individual but the body does not know what to do with the insulin therefore, it does not get used properly by the body.

GLUT4

What researcher Paul Hruz, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics and of cell biology and physiology at the School of Medicine, and his team found out was that first-generation protease inhibitors, including the drug ritonavir, block GLUT4, a protein that transports glucose from the blood to the cells where the glucose is needed. This action raises blood sugar levels, which can result in both metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

The Next Step

“The team already is working with a drug developer to create a new HIV drug that the virus does not develop resistance to and does not block GLUT4.”

Sources: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/208928.php
Washington University in St. Louis

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