Introduction There is an increased risk of hypertension among people living with HIV (PLWH). Older age has been associated with a higher risk of chronic conditions. In this study, we assess the time taken before adults living with HIV develop hypertension and explore the factors associated with hypertension diagnosis among PLWH. Methods Retrospective analysis on (n = 95 701) HIV positive adults from the longitudinal survey data from the National Income Dynamics Survey (NIDS) in South Africa was performed. The adults (18–75 years) were followed in order to determine the age of hypertension risk. Kaplan Meier survival estimates were used to show time to diagnosis. Multivariate cox regression model was used to determine the factors associated with hypertension diagnosis. Results 10.5% had HIV and hypertension at the start of the NID survey (wave 1:2008). Of the remaining (n = 85 569), over 75% aged 30–46 were at risk of developing hypertension. Thereafter the risk of hypertension comorbidity begins to decrease after the age of 45. In other words, the risk of hypertension began to reduce once the adults living with HIV turned 45 years old. There was no significant association between the development of hypertension comorbidity and the other demographic, socio-economic and health characteristics assessed. Conclusion Young adults living with HIV are also at risk of hypertension. HIV infected persons need to routinely screen for chronic diseases and started on treatment timeously.