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HIV and Illicit Drug Use Interact, Affect Verbal Learning and Memory in Women

August 13, 2013

New research via the U.S. Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) shows that HIV infection and illicit drugs work together in a negative way and can diminish cognitive performance. The study of almost 1,400 women -- some HIV negative, some HIV positive -- of similar socioeconomic backgrounds divided the women into three groups: those with recent drug use, former drug users and nonusers.

After comparing scores among the three groups on the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised, researchers saw a correlation between HIV status and recent drug use. The team proposed that "the interaction between HIV serostatus and recent illicit drug use on verbal learning and memory suggests a potential synergistic neurotoxicity that may affect the neural circuitry underlying performance on these tasks."

Read the details of this report, brought to us by the Black AIDS Institute.

Mathew Rodriguez is the editorial project manager for and

Follow Mathew on Twitter: @mathewrodriguez.

Copyright © 2013 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

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This article was provided by TheBody.

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Todd Jackman (Vancouver, BC) Fri., Aug. 23, 2013 at 12:44 pm UTC
QUestion? does this only happen to females? I have been smoking pot since my diagnoses 1996, i've dabbled in hard stuff . Am having bad memory loss. I am taking Atripla now and it causes confusion. Crystal meth for a while 10 years ago. I am constantly losing my thoughts mid sentence and mixing up appointments and even the day of the week.AM I A LOST CAUSE???do you know of Atripla causes 'Confusion'long term? can lack of good nutrition cause the same symptoms? I am concidering stopping treatment and let mother nature do her thing. Atripla is causing my teeth to wrot, is that true? I never remember plans I've made the night before, showing up at Drs. office a week early. Please , if you can answer my questions i would greatly appreciatte it. Please respond, i know it is a bit off topic but i am concered about getting a pt job but not when i have to ask the person "what was I saying". ahort term memory is really bad.

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