Some of the HIV medications used to treat HIV can be associated with an increased risk of diabetes. It’s important to know if you’re on the best treatment for you; ask your healthcare team what your options are.
Over time, the virus itself can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. Talk to your healthcare team about regularly checking your blood sugar levels. There are apps you can download to monitor your diabetes.
Some people with HIV infection may also have an increased risk of hepatitis C infection. If you are living with both HIV and hepatitis C it is important to be aware that hepatitis C is also associated with insulin ‘resistance’ (where your body doesn’t respond properly to insulin to control blood sugar levels) and diabetes.
In type 2 diabetes, the body doesn’t make enough of or respond properly to the hormone insulin. Insulin moves sugar from your blood into each cell in your body for energy. A build-up of sugar in the blood can cause serious health complications, so must be well-managed.
It is estimated that more than half of type 2 diabetes cases can be delayed or prevented by following a healthy lifestyle.
People who are overweight or large around the middle (have a large waist measurement) are at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, but this risk can be lowered by following a healthy diet and being physically active.
Type 2 diabetes is usually caused by a mixture of two things:
Although scientists are still unsure about the exact reasons why, people with HIV are up to four times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people without HIV. However, there are a number of things you can do to lower your chances of ever developing type 2 diabetes or delay its onset.
To assess your risk of developing diabetes, your healthcare team might:
Both diabetes and HIV can be well-managed and you will be encouraged to:
Your healthcare team will be aware of any additional things to think about if you have diabetes, such as:
Talk to your healthcare team if you have any concerns or questions about what else you can do to look after your health