Phenotypic frailty in people living with HIV is not correlated with age or immunosenescence

Stephen A. Klotz, Cesar Egurrola, Maria Love, Mary N. Miller, Nicole Bradley, Shannon N. Smith, Bijan Najafi, Nafees Ahmad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: It has been hypothesized that HIV-1 infection prematurely “ages” individuals phenotypically and immunologically. We measured phenotypic frailty and immune “aging” markers on T-cells of people living with HIV on long term, suppressive anti-retroviral therapy (ART) to determine if there is an association between frailty and immunosenescence. Methods: Thirty-seven (37) community-dwelling people living with HIV were measured for frailty using a sensor-based frailty meter that quantifies weakness, slowness, rigidity, and exhaustion. An immunological profile of the patients’ CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell expression of cell surface proteins and cytokines was performed (n = 20). Results: Phenotypic frailty prevalence was 19% (7/37) and correlated weakly with the number of past medical events accrued by the patient (r = 0.34, p =.04). There was no correlation of frailty with age, sex, prior AIDS diagnosis or HIV-1 viral load, or IFN-γ expression by CD4+ or CD8+ T-cells. There were more immune competent (CD28+ CD57) cells than exhausted/senescent (CD28 CD57+) T cells. Conclusion: Frailty in people living with HIV on long term, suppressive ART did not correlate with aging or T cell markers of exhaustion or immunosenescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-603
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 2022


  • HIV
  • anti-retroviral therapy
  • frailty
  • immune restoration
  • immunosenescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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