Risk of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1-Related Neurologic Disease in a Cohort of Intravenous Drug Users

Marder, Karen; Liu, Xinhua; Stern, Yaakov; Malouf, Renee; Dooneief, George; Bell, Karen L.; Todak, George; Joseph, M.; Sorrell, Stephan; El-Sadr, Wafaa Mahmoud; Williams, Janet B. W.; Ehrhardt, Anke A.; Stein, Zena; Gorman, Jack M.

Background: Although the proportion of cases of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome related to intravenous drug use has increased dramatically over the past decade, there has been no longitudinal examination of primary neurologic disease in this group. Objective: To study the development of neurologic disease in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)—negative and HIV-positive men and women who were intravenous drug users over a 3.5-year period. Design: Prospective observational cohort study. Setting: Subjects were recruited from an infectious disease clinic at a New York City Hospital or from a methadone maintenance program. Participants: Ninety-nine HIV-negative (62 men and 37 women) and 124 HIV-positive (85 men and 39 women) intravenous drug users volunteered. Main Outcome Measure: The development of clinically significant manifestations in six neurologic domains. Results: With multivariate adjustment for current and past substance abuse, age, education, and head injury, we examined the odds of developing HIV-related neurologic disease. Extrapyramidal signs and reduced motor ability became increasingly apparent over time in HIV-infected men as their CD4 cell count declined and as the subjects developed the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Fewer neurologic signs were seen in the women. Conclusions: The impact of HIV infection among intravenous drug users parallels that in homosexual men and is independent of alcohol and other drug use.


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February 24, 2018