More than one million Americans have been diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Advances in prevention and treatment of HIV have led to an increased life expectancy for patients with HIV infection. Due to their increased life span, HIV+ patients are now presenting to hospitals with an increased number of diverse late-stage complications, such as cardiomyopathy and other cardiovascular conditions. These complications are as a direct or indirect result of HIV disease, HIV treatment modalities, comorbid conditions, dietary and lifestyle factors, and unknown etiologies. Cardiac complications, particularly HIV-related dilated cardiomyopathy, are potentially life-threatening diagnoses, with symptoms that may be minimized with appropriate cardiac-specific assessments and treatments, patient teaching, and collaboration among nurses caring for the HIV-positive client with cardiac disease.

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