Neuropsychological deficits in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 clade C-seropositive adults from South India

J Neurovirol. 2007 Jun;13(3):195-202. doi: 10.1080/13550280701258407.


Most studies of cognitive functioning in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-seropositive (HIV-1+) subjects have been done in the United States and Europe, where clade B infections predominate. However, in other parts of the world such as South India, where clade C HIV is most common, the prevalence of HIV-1 is increasing. Standardized neuropsychological tests were used to assess cognitive functioning in a sample of 119 adults infected with clade C HIV-1 who were not on antiretroviral medications. The subjects did not have neurological or psychiatric illness and were functioning adequately. Neuropsychological test performance was compared with gender-, age-, and education-matched normative data derived from a sample of 540 healthy volunteers and a matched cohort of 126 healthy, HIV-1-seronegative individuals. Among the seropositive subjects, 60.5% had mild to moderate cognitive deficits characterized by deficits in the domains of fluency, working memory, and learning and memory. None of the subjects had severe cognitive deficits. The HIV-1+ sample was classified into groups according to the level of immune suppression as defined by CD4 count (< 200, 201-499, and > 500 cells/mm3) and viral load (< 5000, 5001-30,000, 30,001-99,999, 100,000-1,000,000, and > 1,000,001 copies). Although the most immunosuppressed group (CD4 count < 200 cells/mm3 or viral load > 1,000,001 copies) was small, their rate of impairment in visual working memory was greater when compared to groups with better immune functioning. Mild to moderate cognitive deficits can be identified on standardized neuropsychological tests in clade C-infected HIV-1+ adults who do not have any clinically identifiable functional impairment. The prevalence of cognitive deficits is similar to that reported in antiretroviral treatment-naïve individuals infected with clade B virus in the western world.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Dementia Complex / diagnosis*
  • AIDS Dementia Complex / epidemiology*
  • Adult
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Cognition Disorders / virology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Seropositivity
  • HIV-1 / classification*
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Viral Load