AIDS Dementia Complex
(ADC; AIDS Encephalopathy; AIDS-related Dementia; ARD; HIV-associated Dementia Complex; HIV Encephalopathy; HIV Associated Encephalopathy (HAE), HIV associated Cognitive/Motor Complex)
- Cognition—the ability to understand, process, and remember information
- Behavior—difficulty performing daily tasks
- Emotions—may have personality changes and depression
- Motor coordination—the ability to coordinate muscles and movement
|HIV destroys white blood cells vital to the immune system.|
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- Untreated HIV infection
- Late-stage AIDS
Stage 1 (Mild)
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty remembering details, such as phone numbers, appointments, or tracking daily activities
- Slowed thinking
- Longer time needed to complete complicated tasks
- Unsteady walking, tremor, or difficulty keeping balance
- Poor hand function
- Change in handwriting
Stage 2 (Moderate)
- More focus and attention needed
- Slow responses
- Frequently dropping objects
- Feelings of indifference or apathy
- Slowness or difficulty with normal activities, such as eating or writing
Stages 3 and 4 (Severe and End Stage)
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Abnormal gait, making walking more difficult
- Withdrawing from life
- Severe mental disorders, such as psychosis or mania
- Unable to leave bed
- Anti-anxiety medications
- Mood stabilizers
- Medications to prevent seizures
- When you have sex, use a male latex condom .
- Limit your number of sexual partners.
- Avoid sexual partners who are HIV-infected.
- Do not share needles for drug injection.
- Avoid having transfusions of blood products that have not been screened.
If you are a healthcare worker:
- Wear appropriate gloves and facial masks during all procedures.
- Carefully handle and properly dispose of needles.
- Carefully follow universal precautions.
If you live in a household with someone who has HIV:
- Wear appropriate gloves if handling HIV-infected bodily fluids.
- Cover your cuts and sores with bandages. Also cover cuts and sores on the person with HIV.
- Do not share any personal hygiene items, such as razors or toothbrushes.
- Carefully handle and properly dispose of needles used for medication.
American Foundation for AIDS Research http://www.amfar.org
National Association of People with AIDS http://www.napwa.org
AIDS Committee of Toronto http://www.actoronto.org
Canadian AIDS Society http://www.cdnaids.ca
AIDS dementia complex. University of California at San Francisco website. Available at: http://hivinsite.ucsf.edu/InSite?page=id-01-08 . Accessed September 4 ,2013.
HIV-associated dementia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated March 7, 2013. Accessed September 4, 2013.
Luo X, Carlson KA, Wojna V, et al. Macrophage proteomic fingerprinting predicts HIV-1-associated cognitive impairment. Neurology. 2003;60:1931-1937.
Meehan RA, Brush JA. An overview of AIDS dementia complex. Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2001;16:225-229.
Nicholas MK, Lukas R, van Besein K. Textbook of Neurological Surgery . 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins; 2011: chap 46.
- Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 09/30/2013