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Nov 8, 2005

What is the psychological effect of HIV on the human body?

Response from Dr. Horwath

People who have very advanced HIV infection, with low CD4 count and high viral load, are at high risk to develop cognitive impairment (memory loss, slowing of thinking, impaired ability to organize and plan), neurological problems (tremor, weakness, trouble with balance), and emotional changes (feelings of apathy, fatigue, social withdrawal). Effective antiretroviral treatment that lowers the viral load and revives the immune system can reverse many of the these symptoms if they have not progressed too far. In my own experience with patients who have HIV-associated dementia, I have seen several patients achieve substantial recovery from fairly advanced dementia.

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