Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is reported to be more common in people living with HIV (PLWH). Clinical guidelines recommend screening for diabetes in PLWH, but there is no agreed method due to studies reporting HbA1c is falsely low in PLWH. These studies were performed in the early HIV era when participants were taking older preparations of antiretroviral therapy that are rarely used today. We aimed to investigate whether HIV serostatus influences HbA1c.


We conducted a prospective cohort study of PLWH and age- and sex-matched HIV-negative participants who were purposely recruited from clinics in Brighton, U.K. Each participant wore a Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitor (CGM) for up to 10 days, had glucose measured during an oral glucose tolerance test, and fructosamine and paired HbA1c were measured. We performed regression analysis to assess the influence of HIV on HbA1c and used a separate model for CGM glucose, venous glucose, and fructosamine. In addition, we included predictor variables used in previous studies that explored HbA1c discrepancy.


We recruited 60 PLWH (90% men, 50% with T2D, mean ± SD age 57 ± 10.7 years, 100% undetectable viral load) and 48 people without HIV (92% men, 30% with T2D, mean age 57.7 ± 8.9 years). We found that HIV serostatus did not have a significant influence on HbA1c within the regression models.


We performed a comprehensive assessment of glycemia to assess whether HIV serostatus influences HbA1c. We did not find any strong evidence that HIV serostatus influenced HbA1c. The results of our study support incorporating HbA1c into routine clinical blood work in PLWH.

This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.25776933.

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