Cognitive Deficits in HIV Infected Children

Indian J Psychol Med. 2014 Jul;36(3):255-9. doi: 10.4103/0253-7176.135373.


Background and objectives: Children infected with HIV are at risk for significant neurological and neuropsychological problems. This study is aimed at identifying cognitive deficits in HIV-infected children and to compare them with equal number of normal controls.

Materials and methods: Twenty children with HIV infection who are currently on antiretroviral therapy were recruited. They were assessed for their intelligence using Malin's Intelligence Scale for Indian Children and also evaluated for their cognitive abilities with a comprehensive neuropsychological battery. They were matched with equal number of normal controls.

Results: HIV-infected children have shown substantial impairments in the domains of attention, language, verbal learning and memory, visuomotor functions, fine motor performance, and executive functions.

Conclusion: HIV-infected children have average intelligence, but they performed poorly on several neuropsychological measures.

Keywords: Cognitive deficits; HIV infection; neuropsychological testing.