Predictors of Hiv-related Neurocognitive Impairment in an Hiv/aids Population

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Although, in the United States HIV infectivity has increased, survival rates have also improved due to highly active antiretroviral therapies (HAART). Adherence to HAART successfully prevents the progression of AIDS and AIDS-related morbidity for many living with HIV. Unfortunately, HAART’s permeability into the central nervous system (CNS) is limited; thus, the prevalence of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) still persists. The health belief model (HBM) is the theory often used to explain and predict behavior in relation to chronic illness. This model incorporates perceptions of susceptibility, vulnerability, and severity towards a particular illness, and beliefs regarding perceived efficacy and benefits of ... continued below

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Steinberg, Tara, C. August 2012.

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  • Steinberg, Tara, C.

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Although, in the United States HIV infectivity has increased, survival rates have also improved due to highly active antiretroviral therapies (HAART). Adherence to HAART successfully prevents the progression of AIDS and AIDS-related morbidity for many living with HIV. Unfortunately, HAART’s permeability into the central nervous system (CNS) is limited; thus, the prevalence of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) still persists. The health belief model (HBM) is the theory often used to explain and predict behavior in relation to chronic illness. This model incorporates perceptions of susceptibility, vulnerability, and severity towards a particular illness, and beliefs regarding perceived efficacy and benefits of treatment. This study expands the existing model. Many who live with HIV have a long history of negative experiences, such as stigmatization, traumatic events, and discrimination. I examined supplementary psychosocial and physiological predictor variables, such as stigma, trauma, ethnicity, general medical conditions, HIV-opportunistic infections, and falls; all relevant to disease progression in HIV. Previous researchers found links between stigma and immune function, trauma and memory, ethnicity and neuropsychological impairment, and symptom load and CNS-related alterations. Therefore, this study examined how these different psychosocial predictor variables are associated with HIV-related neurocognitive impairment. My model explained 38.6% of the variance in the outcome variable, and I found that trauma (B = -.15, OR = .87; CI 95% = .75, 1.0, p = .05), ethnicity (B = 2.2, OR = 9.0, CI 95% = 1.68, 48.48, p =.01), general medical conditions (B = .30, OR = 1.34; CI 95% = 1.0, 1.81, p = .05), and falls (B = 2.0, OR = 7.2; CI 95% = 1.1, 47.0, p = .04), were all significant predictors of HIV-related neurocognitive impairment. However, contrary to my hypothesis, HIV-related opportunistic infections and HIV-related stigma were not significant predictors of HIV-related neurocognitive impairment. I hope that my results will contribute to revisions of older health models as well as suggest avenues for primary and secondary prevention and intervention to address those living with HIV/AIDS.

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  • August 2012

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  • March 4, 2013, 2:02 p.m.

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  • Nov. 16, 2016, 11:54 a.m.

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Steinberg, Tara, C. Predictors of Hiv-related Neurocognitive Impairment in an Hiv/aids Population, dissertation, August 2012; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149667/: accessed November 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .