Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

2-18-2011

Publication Source

PLoS ONE

Volume

6

Issue

2

Start Page

e17233

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0017233

Abstract

Objective

To explore the prevalence and features of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HANDS) in Botswana, a sub-Saharan country at the center of the HIV epidemic.

Design and Methods

A cross sectional study of 60 HIV-positive individuals, all receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), and 80 demographically matched HIV-seronegative control subjects. We administered a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery and structured psychiatric interview. The lowest 10th percentile of results achieved by control subjects was used to define the lower limit of normal performance on cognitive measures. Subjects who scored abnormal on three or more measures were classified as cognitively impaired. To determine the clinical significance of any cognitive impairment, we assessed medication adherence, employment, and independence in activities of daily living (ADL).

Results

HIV+ subjects were impaired for all cognitive-motor ability areas compared with matched, uninfected control subjects. Thirty seven percent of HIV+ patients met criteria for cognitive impairment.

Conclusion

These findings indicate that neurocognitive impairment is likely to be an important feature of HIV infection in resource-limited countries; underscoring the need to develop effective treatments for subjects with, or at risk of developing, cognitive impairment.

Copyright/Permission Statement

© 2011 Lawler et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Keywords

Sub-Saharan, Africa, HIV Positive, Gaborone, Botswana, Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART)

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Date Posted: 18 November 2014

This document has been peer reviewed.