An international team of researchers led by a John Hopkins neurologist have concluded that new HIV dementia cases in sub-Saharan Africa are adding an enormous burden to the already overtaxed health-care systems of some of the world's most impoverished nations. The study results indicated that 31% of a HIV-positive patients at a medical clinic in Uganda met the criteria for HIV-dementia, i.e., debilitating memory, learning, behavioural, and motor disabilities. While the symptoms of HIV-dementia are largely reversible through the use of antiretroviral medication which is commonly available in the West, only 20% of HIV patients in the world have access to such medication. Based on the study results and the known prevalence of HIV in Africa, there may be more than 8,000,000 HIV-dementia cases throughout the sub-Saharan region alone.
Dr. Ned Saktor, senior author of the study, reported that there is little accurate information about the prevalence of HIV-dementia in other parts of the world but that estimates range from 9 per cent to 54 per cent of those infected with HIV.
More information on the study can be found here.