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Prevention, Rehabilitation, and Mitigation Strategies of Cognitive Deficits in Aging with HIV: Implications for Practice and Research

ISRN Nursing
Publication Date
  • Medicine


Highly active antiretroviral therapy has given the chance to those living with HIV to keep on living, allowing them the opportunity to age and perhaps age successfully. Yet, there are severe challenges to successful aging with HIV, one of which is cognitive deficits. Nearly half of those with HIV experience cognitive deficits that can interfere with everyday functioning, medical decision making, and quality of life. Given that cognitive deficits develop with more frequency and intensity with increasing age, concerns mount that as people age with HIV, they may experience more severe cognitive deficits. These concerns become especially germane given that by 2015, 50% of those with HIV will be 50 and older, and this older cohort of adults is expected to grow. As such, this paper focuses on the etiologies of such cognitive deficits within the context of cognitive reserve and neuroplasticity. From this, evidence-based and hypothetical prevention (i.e., cognitive prescriptions), rehabilitation (i.e., speed of processing training), and mitigation (i.e., spaced retrieval method) strategies are reviewed. Implications for nursing practice and research are posited.

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