Human immunodeficiency virus disease severity, psychiatric symptoms, and functional outcomes in perinatally infected youth

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2012 Jun 1;166(6):528-35. doi: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.1785.


Objective: To evaluate associations between human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease severity and psychiatric and functional outcomes in youth with perinatal HIV infection.

Design: Cross-sectional analysis of entry data from an observational,prospective 2-year study.Logistic and linear regression models adjusted for potential confounders were used.

Setting: Twenty-nine sites of the International Maternal Pediatrics Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials Group study in the United States and Puerto Rico.

Participants: Youth aged 6 to 17 years who had HIV infection (N=319).

Main exposures: Antiretroviral treatment and perinatal HIV infection.

Main outcome measures: Youth and primary caregivers were administered an extensive battery of measures that assessed psychiatric symptoms; cognitive, social,and academic functioning; and quality of life.

Results: Characteristics of HIV were a current CD4 percentage of 25% or greater (74% of participants), HIV RNA levels of less than 400 copies/mL (59%), and current highly active antiretroviral therapy (81%). Analyses indicated associations of past and current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention class C designation with less severe attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder inattention symptoms,older age at nadir CD4 percentage and lower CD4 percentage at study entry with more severe conduct disorder symptoms,higher RNA viral load at study entry with more severe depression symptoms, and lower CD4 percentage atstudy entry with less severe symptoms of depression. There was little evidence of an association between specific antiretroviral therapy and severity of psychiatric symptoms.A lower nadir CD4 percentage was associated with lower quality of life, worse Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children Coding Recall scores, and worse social functioning.

Conclusion: Human immunodeficiency virus illness severity markers are associated with the severity of some psychiatric symptoms and, notably, with cognitive, academic,and social functioning, all of which warrant additional study.

Trial registration: NCT00100542.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active
  • Child
  • Cognition*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / etiology
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • HIV*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / etiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Puerto Rico
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • United States

Associated data