A Potential Role for Vitamin D on HIV Infection?


Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA, 02115; Phone: 617–432–1238; Fax: 617–432–2435; E-mail: evillamo@hsph.harvard.edu


Despite advances in the knowledge of vitamin D's potent immunomodulatory activity, its role on HIV disease progression is unknown. Decreased concentrations of 1α,25-hydroxyvitamin D3, or 1,25(OH)2D, the active form of vitamin D, have been reported among HIV-infected people and attributed to defects in renal hydroxylation and increased utilization. A few studies also described low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3, 25(OH)D, the vitamin obtained from solar synthesis and diet. An inverse association between 1,25(OH)2D concentrations and mortality has been reported from a small cohort of HIV-infected adults, and some cross-sectional studies have indicated positive correlations between 1,25(OH)2D and CD4+ cell counts. Additional observational studies are needed to confirm the associations between vitamin D status and HIV disease progression. These investigations would provide useful insights on the potential role of vitamin D supplementation to HIV-infected persons and the planning of intervention trials.