Document Type



Internal Medicine (East Africa); Brain and Mind Institute


Introduction: Persons living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are living longer and at risk of non-communicable diseases, including diabetes mellitus (DM). Both HIV and DM place patients at risk of peripheral neuropathy (PN). Our aim was to demonstrate the prevalence and characteristics of PN in our population of patients with HIV infection compared with concomitant HIV and DM.

Methods: A prospective cross-sectional study was performed at the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya. Data were collected on demographics and characteristics of DM and HIV. Symptoms and signs of PN were evaluated by Neuropathy Symptom Score, Neuropathy Disability Score, and 10 g monofilament testing.

Results: Two groups were recruited, each consisting of 68 patients: (1) HIV only, (2) HIV and DM. The median age of patients was 51 years (IQR 42.8–58.6) and 55% were male. Median duration for HIV was 10 years (IQR 5–12) with a median CD4 count of 524 cells/mm3 (IQR 369–731). Median duration for DM was 1 year with a median glycosylated hemoglobin of 6.7% (IQR 6.6–7.6). Sixty-nine percent of patients with HIV had suppressed viral loads, and 9 patients (6.6%) had a history neurotoxic antiretroviral therapy use. PN was detected in 11 (16%) HIV-only patients, and in 17 (25%) participants who had both HIV and DM (Fisher exact test chi-square = 0.4). Univariate analysis demonstrated older age, high body mass index, and long duration of HIV were associated with an OR of 1.07 (95% CI 1.02–1.11), 1.21 (95% CI 0.46–3.11), and 1.07 (95% CI 0.99–1.15) in the overall group, respectively.

Conclusion: Our study demonstrates a higher but non-significant prevalence of PN in patients with both HIV and DM when compared to HIV alone. HIV disease control had no association with PN presence.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Diabetes Therapy

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.