The Presence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders Is Associated With a Lower Adherence to Combined Antiretroviral Treatment.

Kamal, Susan; Locatelli, Isabella; Wandeler, Gilles; Sehhat, Asemaneh; Bugnon, Olivier; Metral, Melanie; Du Pasquier, Renaud; Gutbrod, Klemens; Cavassini, Matthias; Schneider, Marie P; Study, The Swiss HIV Cohort (2017). The Presence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders Is Associated With a Lower Adherence to Combined Antiretroviral Treatment. Open Forum Infectious Diseases, 4(2), ofx070. Oxford University Press 10.1093/ofid/ofx070

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BACKGROUND Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) are defined according to their diagnostic degrees as follows: asymptomatic neurocognitive impairment, mild neurocognitive disorder, and HIV-associated dementia. Because high adherence to combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) is required to maintain viral suppression among HIV-infected patients, it is important to investigate the impact of HAND on medication adherence. Our study hypothesis was that patients with HAND had a lower medication adherence than patients who did not have HAND. METHODS This was an observational, exploratory, 2-center pilot study of patients who had a state-of-the-art neurocognitive assessment performed between January 2011 and June 2015 while also being followed at their respective adherence clinics. Adherence was measured with electronic monitors. Patients' sociodemographic characteristics, HIV viral load, and CD4 counts were retrieved from the Swiss HIV Cohort Study database. At each time t, adherence was computed as the proportion of patients taking medication as prescribed at that time. RESULTS We included 59 patients, with a median (Q1, Q3) age of 53 years (47-58) and 39 (66%) were male participants. Twenty-two patients (35%) had no neurocognitive deficits, 16 (27%) patients had HAND, and 21 (35%) patients had non-HAND (mostly depression). Implementation over 3 years showed a significant decline (50%) in medication adherence among patients diagnosed with HAND in comparison with patients who had a normal neuropsychological status or a non-HIV-related cognitive deficit (implementation stayed 90% during follow-up). CONCLUSIONS Our findings support the hypothesis that HAND is associated with reduced cART adherence.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Clinic of Infectiology

UniBE Contributor:

Wandeler, Gilles and Gutbrod, Klemens


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services




Oxford University Press




Annelies Luginbühl

Date Deposited:

04 Jul 2017 14:00

Last Modified:

15 Aug 2017 08:15

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

HIV HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders medication adherence.




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