Early Stage HIV Affects Brain


According to Researchers in Stellenbosch University, they have discovered that the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), directly affects the brain during the early stages of the infection. Scientists compared those brain of people infected with HIV with those HIV negative while they are performing tasks that trigger specific regions of the brain.

They hope this information will aid future studies about Anti-retroviral treatment as well as interventions that might help to improve the brain function of people living with the virus.

Researcher Doctor Stèfan du Plessis says: “This is something that is very mild in the sense that you would forget where the car keys are, or maybe you forget something on the stove or even just feel mildly depressed or unmotivated – that our research suggests. This is a very minor impact but it’s something that we need to explore further and also treatment options. Our research shows that HIV does have an impact on the brain and that these low-grade cognitive symptoms are likely not just function loss due to patients feeling sick, tired or depressed,