Prevalence and factors associated with neuro cognitive disorders among HIV-positive patients in Ethiopia: A hospital-based cross-sectional study


  • Tesfalem Araya
  • Dessie Abebaw
  • Asmare Belete
  • Habtamu Derajew
  • Halima Umer


Background: The majority of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) reside in low- and middle-income countries. HIV-associated neuro-cognitive disorders (HAND) are among the most common neurological complications, especially in resource-limited countries. HAND occurs in all stages of HIV infection, but the risk increases with advanced infection. This study measures the magnitude of HAND and associated factors among HIV patients.

Methods and Materials: A hospital-based cross-sectional study was employed among 581HIV-positive patients using a systematic random sampling technique to select participants. The International HIV Dementia Scale (IHDS) was used to assess cognitive impairment. The collected data were coded and entered into Epi-data 3.1 and analyzed using SPSS version 20.0. Bivariate and multivariate analysis was carried out and interpreted using odds ratio and 95% confidence interval at p-value < 0.05.

Results: Five hundred and eighty-one HIV patientsere involved in this study, making the response rate 99.49%. Of the total participants, 35.6% had HAND. Being illiterate (AOR: 5.16; 95% CI: 2.20-12.07), having a primary-level education (AOR: 3.27; 95% CI: 1.46-7.29), having a CD4 count (cells/µl) ≤ 500 (AOR: 1.61; 95% CI: 1.11-2.39) and the lifetime use of tobacco (AOR: 2.40; 95% CI: 1.44-4.01) were significantly associated with HAND.

Conclusions: A high prevalence of HAND was observed. Being illiterate, a primary-level education, and a low CD4 count and tobacco use were significantly associated. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2020; 34(1):22-29]

Key words: HIV-associated neuro-cognitive disorder, International HIV Dementia Scale, Ethiopia