AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 371–378 | Cite as

Clinical Correlates of HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders in South Africa

  • John A. JoskaEmail author
  • Dylan S. Fincham
  • Dan J. Stein
  • Robert H. Paul
  • Soraya Seedat
Original Research


Human immunodeficiency virus-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) occurs globally and across different genetic clades of the virus. However, few studies have examined HAND in South Africa, despite the prevalence of HIV in this region of the world, and the predominance of clade C. The present study examined the relationship between a number of demographic and clinical variables in a sample of 536 patients attending HIV clinics in South Africa. HAND was present in 23.5% of the sample and was associated with older age, a low educational level among those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol abuse among those with many months since diagnosis. These results suggest that HAND is common among patients in South Africa, and is associated with clinical variables such as PTSD and alcohol abuse. This underlines the impact of HIV on the nervous system and the importance of screening for co morbid mental health conditions.


HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders HIV Dementia Scale (HDS) South Africa Alcohol abuse Post-traumatic stress disorder 



J. Joska has received support form the National Research Foundation and Biological Psychiatry special interest group of the South African Society of Psychiatrists. S. Seedat has received financial support from Medical Research Council of South Africa, the National Research Foundation, GlaxoSmithKline, Servier, Sanofi, Eli-Lilly, Lundbeck, and the US National Institute of Mental Health. D. J. Stein has received research grants and/or consultancy honoraria from Astrazeneca, Eli-Lilly, Glaxosmithkline, Lundbeck, Orion, Pfizer, Pharmacia, Roche, Servier, Solvay, Sumitomo and Wyeth. D. Fincham reports no conflict of interest. R. Paul—none. With special thanks to Professor Daan Nel for his assistance with the statistical analyses.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • John A. Joska
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dylan S. Fincham
    • 2
  • Dan J. Stein
    • 1
  • Robert H. Paul
    • 3
  • Soraya Seedat
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Mental HealthUniversity of Cape Town, South AfricaCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.MRC Unit on Anxiety and Stress Disorders, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of StellenboschStellenboschSouth Africa
  3. 3.Department of Psychology and Behavioral NeuroscienceUniversity of MissouriSt. LouisUSA

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