The intersection of cognitive ability and HIV: A review of the state of the nursing science


Neurocognitive problems have been endemic to the HIV epidemic since its beginning. Four decades later, these problems persist, but currently, they are attributed to HIV-induced inflammation, the long-term effects of combination antiretroviral therapy, lifestyle (i.e., physical activity, drug use), psychiatric, and age-associated comorbidities (i.e., heart disease, hypertension). In many cases, persons living with HIV (PLWH) may develop cognitive problems as a function of accelerated or accentuated normal aging and lifestyle rather than HIV itself. Nonetheless, such cognitive impairments can interfere with HIV care, including medication adherence and attending clinic appointments. With more than half of PLWH 50 years and older, and 30%-50% of all PLWH meeting the criteria for HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder, those aging with HIV may be more vulnerable to developing cognitive problems. This state of the science article provides an overview of current issues and provides implications for practice, policy, and research to promote successful cognitive functioning in PLWH


Waldrop D, Irwin C, Nicholson WC, Lee CA, Webel A, Fazeli PL, Vance DE




  • Population(s)
    • Older adults (>50 years)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Engagement and Care Cascade
  • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Retention in care
    • Treatment
  • Mental Health
    • Neurocognitive disorders
    • Psychiatric disorders
  • Co-morbidities
    • Cardiovascular
    • Age related disorders


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