Objectives: Significant pain from HIV-associated sensory neuropathy (HIV-SN) affects 40% of HIV-infected individuals treated with antiretroviral therapy (ART). The most salient symptom of the neuropathy is pain, which frequently is moderate-to-severe intensity, associated with reduced activities and physical function, sleep disruption, increased severity of depression, and anxiety. Yet, evidence for managing painful HIV-SN is poor. The purpose of this study was to verify by scientific evidence the neuropathy complication in HIV/AIDS patients to develop effective pain management strategies. Methods: Design: Systematic review. Data sources: PubMed (MEDLINE), Cochrane, www.controlled-trials.com. Selection criteria: the filter “English” was used, timeframed searched was 2009–2019, randomized controlled trials (RCT). Keywords were verified in MeSH “Peripheral Nervous System Disease” and “Antiretroviral Agents” or “Antiretroviral therapy.” Review method: the PRISMA flowchart was used. Result: A systematic search following PRISMA guidelines was carried out, and 12 specific articles/studies on the subject were selected. The results revealed that HIV therapy, aging, body mass index, height, and systemic conditions influence neuropathy conditions in HIV/AIDS patients. The multistudies focused on pain management approaches such as administration of pain medication, drug combination to prevent side effects, or ART with minimal side effects. Conclusion: Sensory neuropathy is a frequent complication of HIV infection and ART. An understanding of the mechanism and pathophysiology of neuropathy in HIV is urgently required to develop alternative treatment modalities and to evaluate preventive strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-152
Number of pages4
JournalOral Diseases
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020


  • AIDS
  • HIV
  • antiretroviral therapy
  • neuropathy


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