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AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2007 Dec;21(12):930-41.

Spanish validation of the HIV dementia scale in women.

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NeuroAIDS SNRP, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, Puerto Rico.


HIV infection is increasing in minority groups, particularly in African American and Hispanic women. Although the incidence of HIV dementia has decreased since the advent of highly active antiretroviral treatment, prevalence of neurocognitive complications has increased as patients are now living longer. This study's purpose was to determine the psychometric properties of the Spanish-language HIV Dementia Scale (HDS) in a group of HIV-infected women. We recruited 96 women: 60 HIV-seropositive and 36 HIV-seronegative. Modification of the HDS into a Spanish-language version consisted of translating the instructions, substituting four words in Spanish (gato, media, azul, piƱa), increasing 1 second in the psychomotor speed because the Spanish alphabet has more letters than the English alphabet, and not offering clues for memory recall. Cognitive impairment (CI) was defined according to the modified American Academy of Neurology HIV-dementia criteria including an asymptomatic CI group. Statistical analysis consisted of analysis of variance to determine group differences and receiver operator characteristics (ROC) to determine the optimal cutoff point for the screening of CI. HDS-Spanish total score and subscores for psychomotor speed and memory recall showed significant differences between HIV-seronegative and women with HIV-dementia (p < 0.001) and between HIV-seropositive women with normal cognition and those with HIV-dementia (p < 0.001). The optimal cutoff point of 13 or less had performance characteristics of 87% sensitivity and 46% specificity for HIV-associated CI (50.0% positive predictive value, 85.0% negative predictive value). The HDS-Spanish translation offers a useful screening tool with value for the identification of Hispanic women at risk of developing HIV-associated symptomatic neurocognitive disturbances.

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