Selenium deficiency and HIV infection

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Selenium is a non-metallic chemical element of great important to human health. Low selenium levels in humans are associated with several pathological conditions and are a common finding in HIV infected individuals. We conducted a review of the literature to assess if selenium deficiency or selenium supplementation could play a role in modifying the clinical course of HIV disease. Several studies investigated the role of selenium in disease progression, morbidity and mortality in HIV infected individuals. Larger studies were conducted in countries with poor economic resources and limited access to HAART. According to the majority of published studies low selenium levels appear to have an association with mortality, and selenium supplementation appears to play a beneficial role on survival or on slowing disease progression among HIV infected individuals. The role of selenium supplementation on preventing hospital admission among HIV outpatients was also noticed. The literature suggests an association between selenium deficiency and development of HIV associated cardiomyopathy and furthermore, selenium supplementation appears to improve the cardiac function in HIV infected individuals with cardiomyopathy. However, there is conflicting evidence regarding the role selenium in modifying HIV viral load and immune status in HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-63
Number of pages8
JournalInfectious Disease Reports
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • AIDS
  • HIV
  • Micronutrient
  • Mortality
  • Selenium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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