High prevalence of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) in São Paulo City, Brazil


  • Maria R Gascon
  • Mayra Lima
  • Priscila M. Cheutchuk
  • Eduardo A. Oliveira
  • Giovana S. de Oliveira
  • Carolina Fernandes Gualqui
  • Luiz A. M. Fonseca
  • Marcello Magri
  • Mauricio D. Ferreira
  • Ana Paula R. Veiga
  • Mariana A. Monteiro
  • Yuyang Tang
  • Guochun Jiang
  • Alberto JS Duarte
  • Lucette Cysique
  • Jorge Casseb






Introduction: HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) are the subject of many studies, some of them reporting a prevalence of up to 50 percent. Objectives: To determine the prevalence and factors associated with HIV neurocognitive disorders (HAND) in a cohort of HIV-1-infected patients in São Paulo city, Brazil. Methodology: Descriptive cross-sectional study including 106 HIV-1-infected patients, employing direct interview and neuropsychological tests, applied by trained neuro-psychologists with expertise in the tests. Other, similar assessment tools we used were Brief Neurocognitive Questionnaire, International HIV Dementia Scale, Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Social Support Scale for People with HIV/Aids, Assessment of Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy Questionnaire, and a complex neuropsychological assessment. Results: We included 106 patients from May 2015 to April 2018. We found a high prevalence of HAND in our patients (45%), with 27.5% presenting asymptomatic neurological impairment (ANI) and 17.5% mild neurological dysfunction (MND); only one patient presented HIV-associated dementia (HAD) (0.9%). Women were more likely to have MND (52.9%) and the only case of HAD was also female. The high prevalence of neurocognitive disorders was independent of the immunological status, use of efavirenz, or virological control. Conclusions: This study may mirror the national and international scenarios, showing a high prevalence of HAND (45%) and the prevalence of some risk factors, in special among women.