Neurocognitive impairment and associated factors among people living with HIV: A systematic review and meta-analysis of African studies


BACKGROUND: Neurocognitive impairment (NCI) is one of the most common neurological complications in HIV-positive individuals, particularly in resource-limited countries. Neurocognitive impairments can occur at any stage of HIV infection, although the risk increases as the infection progresses. However, in Africa, there are few studies with highly variable and inconsistent results. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the prevalence and factors associated with NCI among HIV-positive people in Africa. METHODS: For this systematic review and meta-analysis, we used PubMed/Medline, Scopus, Web of Science, the Cochrane Library, Embase, and PsycINFO to comprehensively search a number of papers. Studies reporting the prevalence of NCI and its factors were included in the estimation of the pooled prevalence. A consistent data extraction format was created in Microsoft Excel to extract the data, which was then imported into STATA 11 statistical software for analysis. The heterogeneity was evaluated using the I2 test, and a random effect meta-analysis model was employed to calculate the pooled prevalence of NCI because the included studies showed significant heterogeneity. RESULTS: In all, Africa had a pooled prevalence of NCI of 45.15% (95% CI: 36.86, 53.43). According to the subgroup analysis of this study, West Africa had the lowest frequency, at 42.40% (95% CI: 22.03, 62.77), whereas Central and South Africa had the highest prevalence, at 49.33% (95% CI: 10.72–87.95). CONCLUSION: In Africa, the cumulative prevalence of NCI was high. Being a woman, not having a formal education, those with only an elementary education, being older, having late-stage HIV, and abusing drugs were all often associated with NCI. The average burden of NCI in Africa is high and that would be a significant figure for interventional actions in the area.


Zenebe Y, Akele B, Selassie M, Necho M




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
    • Determinants of Health
  • Determinants of Health
    • Education
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Substance Use
    • Nonmedicinal drugs
  • Mental Health
    • Neurocognitive disorders


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