Over 50% of those of us living with HIV can develop cognitive impairments that will affect our attention span, learning efficiency, reasoning/problem solving, word finding and psychomotor skills. In most cases these impairments overall tend to be mild, but even at this level they can affect a person’s ability to work and to carry out day-to-day activities and can lead to difficulties in social situations.
To improve brain health and quality of life for people living with HIV, we need better ways to detect cognitive impairments earlier, a better understanding of HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HAND) and the treatments and interventions to reduce or delay them.
HIV, HAND and Brain Health was the focus of a plenary session at the annual research conference of the Ontatrio HIV Treatment Network (OHTN) held in Toronto in November 2012. After the conference, I spoke on video with neuropsychologist Dr Sean Rourke, the OHTN’s scientific and executive director, about what we know about HAND and the work underway to address the cognitive health needs of people living with HIV.
You can see my interview with Dr Rourke in the video clip below. The full panel plenary discussion at the OHTN research conference on HIV, HAND and Brain Health can be also be viewed here.
The OHTN Research Conference interviews: Bob Leahy interviews Patrick Sullivan on the continuing HIV epidemic in the gay and bisexual community.
The OHTN Research Conference interviews: John McCullagh interviews Lisa Power on HIV and aging.