Neuropsychiatric aspects of HIV infection among older adults

C. H. Hinkin, S. A. Castellon, J. H. Atkinson, K. Goodkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Treatment advances such as the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) have translated into greater life expectancy for HIV-infected individuals, which will ultimately result in a 'graying' of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In addition, older individuals are engaging in a higher rate of high risk behaviors than had been previously expected. As such, study of older HIV-infected patients, including study of the psychiatric and neurocognitive aspects of the disease, appears highly indicated. Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that HIV infection is associated with higher rates of several psychological/psychiatric disorders when compared to general population base rates. There is also a rich literature that has documented the adverse neurocognitive effects of HIV infection, ranging from subtle cognitive complaints to frank dementia, among younger adults. Although it has been hypothesized that older age may potentiate the deleterious effects of HIV infection, little is actually known, however, regarding the incidence, prevalence, course, and clinical features of HIV-associated psychiatric and cognitive dysfunction among older adults. This article provides an overview of the epidemiology and clinical manifestations of HIV-associated cognitive and psychiatric disorder across the age spectrum, with particular focus on what is known regarding the interaction of advancing age and HIV infection. Future directions for research are suggested, including basic epidemiologic study of incidence and prevalence rates of neurodisease among older HIV-infected adults as well as investigations designed to determine whether the nature, severity, course, or treatment of such disorders differs among older versus younger patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S44-S52
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Issue number12 SUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV infection
  • Neuropsychiatric aspects
  • Older adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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