Predictors of cognitive ability in adults aging with HIV: A pilot study

Academic Article


  • Adults infected with HIV are living longer due to pharmacological advances, resulting in an increased potential for aging. Little is known about the effects of HIV infection and aging on cognition. Therefore, this pilot study assessed cognitive differences, symptoms of depression, and other measures of HIV-negative (n = 50) and HIV-positive adults (n = 50) who were 30 years of age or older. The normal convention of 50 years and over is used in HIV research to denote older adults and was used in this study as well. Self-rated questions as well as paper and pencil questionnaires were used to assess the study variables. Disease status of HIV-positive individuals was assessed through self-reported biological indicators. Depressive symptomatology had a significant association with cognitive decline; addressing these areas in adults aging with HIV may ameliorate cognitive ability. Surprisingly, age and CD4+ lymphocyte count were not predictive of cognitive performance. Controlling for education, gender, and depressive symptomatology, the HIVpositive group performed worse than the HIV-negative group on a number of cognitive tests. At present, cognitive interventions are being used to mitigate mental declines in older adults; similar techniques may be advantageous for those aging with HIV. Copyright © by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Vance DE; Woodley RA; Burrage JR
  • Start Page

  • 83
  • End Page

  • 101
  • Volume

  • 30
  • Issue

  • 3