Introduction: Variants of the APOL1 gene are associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in people of African ancestry, although evidence for their impact in people with HIV are sparse. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study investigating the association between APOL1 renal risk alleles and kidney disease in people of African ancestry with HIV in the UK. The primary outcome was end-stage kidney disease (ESKD; estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] of <15 ml/min per 1.73 m2, chronic dialysis, or having received a kidney transplant). The secondary outcomes included renal impairment (eGFR <60 ml/min per 1.73 m2), albuminuria (albumin-to-creatinine ratio [ACR] >30 mg/mmol), and biopsy-proven HIV-associated nephropathy (HIVAN). Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate the associations between APOL1 high-risk genotypes (G1/G1, G1/G2, G2/G2) and kidney disease outcomes. Results: A total of 2864 participants (mean age 48.1 [SD 10.3], 57.3% female) were genotyped, of whom, 354 (12.4%) had APOL1 high-risk genotypes, and 99 (3.5%) had ESKD. After adjusting for demographic, HIV, and renal risk factors, individuals with APOL1 high-risk genotypes were at increased odds of ESKD (odds ratio [OR] 10.58, 95% CI 6.22–17.99), renal impairment (OR 5.50, 95% CI 3.81–7.95), albuminuria (OR 3.34, 95% CI 2.00–5.56), and HIVAN (OR 30.16, 95% CI 12.48–72.88). An estimated 49% of ESKD was attributable to APOL1 high-risk genotypes. Conclusion: APOL1 high-risk genotypes were strongly associated with kidney disease in people of African ancestry with HIV and accounted for approximately half of ESKD cases in this cohort.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)786-796
Number of pages11
JournalKidney International Reports
Issue number4
Early online date25 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • Africa
  • APOL1
  • diaspora
  • HIV
  • kidney


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