Improved detection of HAND

Dementia associated with HIV infection has become rare as a result of improved access to effective antiretroviral therapy (ART). However, milder forms of cognitive impairment are reported to be very common among people living with HIV. The domains that are usually assessed for impairment are fluency, attention, information processing speed, executive function, memory, and motor function. Current criteria for diagnosing HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) are probably oversensitive, with the result that too many people are diagnosed with HAND when they do not actually have it. To reduce the high false-positive rate seen with current criteria, researchers in the AGEhIV Cohort Study Group are proposing a novel and more accurate method for detecting HAND, called multivariate normative comparison. This new method will help to correctly diagnose people with HAND so that they can benefit from treatment tailored to their needs.

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