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.

Related Stories

This Positive Life: Nicole on Advocacy, Dancing and Making the Most of Life
Am I Responsible for My Friend's HIV Infection, Addiction and Death?
Addiction: The Disease More Likely to Kill Me
Women and HIV/AIDS: Not Just a Man's Issue Anymore
What Did You Expect While You Were Expecting?
HIV/AIDS Resource Center for Women

This article was provided by TheBody.

No comments have been made.

Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:

Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:


The content on this page is free of advertiser influence and was produced by our editorial team. See our content and advertising policies.