Aging and HIV/AIDS: neurocognitive implications for older HIV-positive Latina/o adults

Behav Med. 2014;40(3):116-23. doi: 10.1080/08964289.2014.914464.


In recent years, HIV/AIDS populations have become older and increasingly more ethnically diverse. Concurrently, the prevalence of HIV-related neurocognitive (NC) impairment remains high. This study examined the effects of age and ethnicity on NC function in HIV-positive adults. The sample (N = 126; 84 Latina/o and 42 Non-Hispanic White) completed a comprehensive NC battery. Global NC and domain average demographically-corrected t-scores were generated. There were no significant differences between Younger (<50 years) Latina/os and non-Hispanic Whites on Global NC function or NC domains (all p's >.10), with generally small effect sizes. Older Latina/os (≥50 years) were significantly more impaired than Older Non-Hispanic Whites on processing speed and learning, with trends in Global NC function and memory. Further, effect sizes fell within the medium to large range (Cohen's d's = .49-1.15). This study suggests that older Latina/os are at potentially greater risk for NC impairment, particularly in processing speed and learning, when compared to similarly-aged non-Hispanic whites.

Keywords: AIDS; HAND; HIV; Hispanics; Latina/os; aging; cognition; health disparities; neurocognitive; neuropsychological impairment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Cognition Disorders / complications
  • Cognition Disorders / ethnology
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology*
  • Female
  • HIV Seropositivity / complications
  • HIV Seropositivity / ethnology
  • HIV Seropositivity / psychology*
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New York City / ethnology
  • Whites / psychology