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Poor Memory and HIV?
Dec 16, 2003

Is there any correlation between HIV medications and poor memory in children that were born HIV positive? My adopted school age child is struggling in school because of poor memory and was wondering if it could be meds or the virus. His viral load is normal as well as his immune system. His viral load was high at birth however.

Since children are surviving now with HIV, their education has become more important. If some of the meds could be causing poor memory, I would like to know. He is taking Zerit, Kaletra and Viramune.

Response from Dr. Luzuriaga

There are several possible explanations for your child's memory problems. HIV commonly affects the nervous system and it is possible that your child's nervous system was affected before he started therapy;it is unlikely that the memory problems are due to the antiviral therapy. However, there are other possible reasons and without further details(age, duration and nature of the problems, birth history, evidence for any other involvement of the central nervous system, etc.), it is hard to comment on possible diagnoses. I would urge you to discuss your concerns with your pediatrician and HIV care provider. They can begin a thorough evaluation and may wish to consult a neurologist and developmental expert or psychologist for specialized testing. They may also work with your son's school to develop a plan to help him with schoolwork.


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