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Clin Psychol Rev. 2002 Apr;22(3):443-64.

Neuropsychological consequences of HIV in children: a review of current literature.

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Center for Psychological Studies, Nova Southeastern University, 3301 College Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33064, USA.


Pediatric HIV has reached epidemic proportions. In 1997, 1.1 million children younger than 15 were living with HIV or AIDS. The virus affects children cognitively and developmentally due to the immaturity of their nervous systems and immune systems. Studies in the area of neuropsychological deficits are as yet limited in number and less well developed than studies on adult HIV. However, despite methodological weaknesses, the literature has proven conclusively that pediatric HIV affects children cognitively, developmentally, emotionally, psychologically, behaviorally, and educationally. Although treatments are allowing these children to live longer, the effects of the virus remain, requiring special care. This review examines the mechanisms behind HIV in children, the neuropsychological findings to date, and the limitations of this work. Possible useful future approaches in understanding the neuropsychological course of the disorder, as well as directions for treatment and prevention are addressed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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