Clinical correlates of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders in South Africa

AIDS Behav. 2010 Apr;14(2):371-8. doi: 10.1007/s10461-009-9538-x. Epub 2009 Mar 27.


Human immunodeficiency virus-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) occurs globally and across different genetic clades of the virus. However, few studies have examined HAND in South Africa, despite the prevalence of HIV in this region of the world, and the predominance of clade C. The present study examined the relationship between a number of demographic and clinical variables in a sample of 536 patients attending HIV clinics in South Africa. HAND was present in 23.5% of the sample and was associated with older age, a low educational level among those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol abuse among those with many months since diagnosis. These results suggest that HAND is common among patients in South Africa, and is associated with clinical variables such as PTSD and alcohol abuse. This underlines the impact of HIV on the nervous system and the importance of screening for co morbid mental health conditions.

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Dementia Complex* / diagnosis
  • AIDS Dementia Complex* / epidemiology
  • AIDS Dementia Complex* / physiopathology
  • Adult
  • Alcoholism* / diagnosis
  • Alcoholism* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • HIV-1
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / standards
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • South Africa / epidemiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic* / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic* / epidemiology