Characterization and sociocultural predictors of neuropsychological test performance in HIV+ Hispanic individuals

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Hispanic, HIV/AIDS, neuropsychological functioning, sociocultural factors, literacy


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Hispanic individuals in the U.S. have been disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS, yet little is known regarding the neuropsychological sequelae of HIV within the Hispanic population. This study charac- terized neuropsychological (NP) test performance of HIV􏰄 English-speaking Hispanic participants (n 􏰃 51) and investigated the combined roles of sociocultural factors (e.g., ethnicity, socioeconomic status [SES] proxy, and reading level) on NP test performance among our HIV􏰄 Hispanic and non-Hispanic White participants (n 􏰃 49). Results revealed that the pattern of NP impairment in HIV􏰄 Hispanic participants is consistent with the frontal-striatal pattern observed in HIV-associated CNS sequelae, and the overall prevalence of global NP impairment was high compared to previous reports with more ethnically homogeneous, non-Hispanic White cohorts. Multivariate prediction models that considered both sociocultural factors and CD4 count revealed that reading level was the only unique predictor of global NP functioning, learning, and attention/working memory. In contrast, ethnicity was the only unique predictor of abstraction/executive functioning. This study provides support for the use of neuropsychological evaluation in detecting HIV-associated NP impairment among HIV􏰄 Hispanic participants and adds to the growing literature regarding the importance of considering sociocultural factors in the interpretation of NP test performance.

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