He was 29 when he began antiretroviral therapy.
He was 43 when he had a heart attack.
“I felt fluttery,” he said. “Weird and fluttery. It went away. I ignored it. A week later, it came back, and this time I felt something in my arm too. I was too stupid to call an ambulance. I got in a cab and went to the hospital.”
Mr. Godfrey’s experience exemplifies something a few AIDS specialists have long suspected, and cardiologists have now found evidence to support: People infected with H.I.V. have more heart attacks and have them earlier in life. Even patients whose infection is well suppressed by AIDS drugs are at higher risk.
Experts in the field said doctors need to be better informed about this little-known threat to their H.I.V.-positive patients. The threat also reinforces a message that public health experts keep emphasizing: H.I.V. is no longer an automatic death sentence, but it is still a dangerous disease.
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