Jun 24, 2007
Hi there, my question has to do with dementia. I have been positive for nine years, and was on treatment for five of those years. for the past four, I have chosen not to take meds (mainly due to previous side effects I had encountered) currently, my vl is in hte 40,000 range and my cd4 hovers around 300 (even on treatment it never reached higher than 450)
over the past few years, I have noticed more cognitive problems and that it is getting hard to concentrate.
am I at risk for developing dementia?
are there other cognitive disorders that hiv positive people might be prone to?
Response from Dr. Horwath
With a high viral load you are at risk for developing HIV-associated cognitive impairment, but that does not mean that you have it. You should be evaluated by a doctor or psychologist who knows how to assess for cognitive impairment. Typical signs would incude slowed thinking and slowness in carrying out tasks, memory impairment, trouble solving problems, and motor problems like hand tremor, gait and balance difficulty, and weakness.
These signs and symptoms can be subtle and should be evaluated by a professional. Having been evaluated, your best course would be to resume treatment with the supervision of a doctor who is experienced in treating HIV/AIDS.
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