Sex Differences in Neurocognitive Function in Adults with HIV: Patterns, Predictors, and Mechanisms
Purpose of Review
Sex differences in cognitive function are well documented yet few studies had adequate numbers of women and men living with HIV (WLWH; MLWH) to identify sex differences in neurocognitive impairment (NCI) and the factors contributing to NCI. Here, we review evidence that WLWH may be at greater risk for NCI.
We conducted a systematic review of recent studies of NCI in WLWH versus MLWH. A power analysis showed that few HIV studies have sufficient power to address male/female differences in NCI but studies with adequate power find evidence of greater NCI in WLWH, particularly in the domains of memory, speed of information processing, and motor function.
Sex is an important determinant of NCI in HIV, and may relate to male/female differences in cognitive reserve, comorbidities (mental health and substance use disorders), and biological factors (e.g., inflammation, hormonal, genetic).
KeywordsSex differences Cognition Neurocognition HIV
Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers R01MH113512 (Rubin) and P30MH075773 (Haughey, Rubin, Sacktor).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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