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Another HIV and Memory Loss Question

Aug 22, 2007

I have read several recent articles regarding HIV and AIDS related dementia, however I do not feel that they apply to my situation. I am reasonably healthy and only recently diagnosed. My specialist extrapolated that given my viral load and CD4 count at the time of diagnosis that I had probably had the virus for a few years already. My problem is that my memory is not sharp anymore. I am only 26. I find that I can often get up in the morning and struggle to remember what I had for dinner or even what the movie I watched the previous evening was about. This is becoming frustrating and starting to affect my career as I cannot recall conversations I have had with employees and my students. Is this normal? What can I do? I have been checked for Anaemia on several occassions as I was told this could cause short term memory loss. I look forward to your comments.

Response from Dr. Horwath

HIV-associated dementia occurs late in the course of HIV infection, usually when a person's CD4 count is low and viral load is high. Memory impairment can be caused by a variety of problems. It is true that anemia and other medical conditions can contribute to memory impairment. You should get a medical evaluation and some psychological testing to evaluate and quantify your memory performance. That's the only way to tell if you have a significant memory problem and to evaluate what may be causing it.

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