Cognitive and affective disorders associated to HIV infection in the HAART era: findings from the NeuroICONA study. Cognitive impairment and depression in HIV/AIDS. The NeuroICONA study

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2002 Jul;106(1):20-6. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0447.2002.02289.x.


Objective: To assess the natural story of HIV-associated affective and cognitive disorders and the relationship with clinical, pharmacological, immunological and behavioural factors.

Method: A total of 395 HIV-positive patients, naive to Highly Active Antirectroviral therapy (HAART), with no severe psychiatric disorders have been enrolled in the Neuro-ICONA Study. All participants were administered a comprehensive data collection instrument including an addiction behaviour survey, a medical problem list, a psychiatric assessment, a validated neuropsychological test battery.

Results: The global prevalence of cognitive impairment and of prominent depressive symptomatology were 17.9 and 15.5%, respectively. A significant difference in the prevalence of prominent depressive symptomatology was observed between patients in HAART and those not taking HAART(14.1 vs. 23.8%; P = 0.05).

Conclusion: Depressive and cognitive disorders affect a substantial proportion of HIV-seropositive subjects. The prevalence of prominent depressive symptomatology appears to significantly vary in relationship to the therapeutic protocol.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active*
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Depression
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mood Disorders / etiology*
  • Mood Disorders / psychology
  • Prevalence