Int J Med Sci 2007; 4(1):13-18. doi:10.7150/ijms.4.13 This issue

Short Research Communication

HIV DNA and Dementia in Treatment-Naïve HIV-1-Infected Individuals in Bangkok, Thailand

Bruce Shiramizu1, Silvia Ratto-Kim1 2, Pasiri Sithinamsuwan3, Samart Nidhinandana3, Sataporn Thitivichianlert3, George Watt1, Mark deSouza2, Thippawan Chuenchitra2, Suchitra Sukwit2, Suwicha Chitpatima4, Kevin Robertson5, Robert Paul6, Cecilia Shikuma1, Victor Valcour1

1. Hawaii AIDS Clinical Research Program, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA
2. Armed Forces Research Inst. Med. Sciences, Bangkok, Thailand
3. Phramongkutklao Hosp., Bangkok, Thailand
4. Royal Thai Army Med. Dept., Bangkok, Thailand
5. Univ. North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
6. Univ. Missouri, Dept. Psychology, St. Louis, MO, USA - for the South East Asia Research Collaboration with the Univ. of Hawaii Protocol 001 Team.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
Shiramizu B, Ratto-Kim S, Sithinamsuwan P, Nidhinandana S, Thitivichianlert S, Watt G, deSouza M, Chuenchitra T, Sukwit S, Chitpatima S, Robertson K, Paul R, Shikuma C, Valcour V. HIV DNA and Dementia in Treatment-Naïve HIV-1-Infected Individuals in Bangkok, Thailand. Int J Med Sci 2007; 4(1):13-18. doi:10.7150/ijms.4.13. Available from

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High HIV-1 DNA (HIV DNA) levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) correlate with HIV-1-associated dementia (HAD) in patients on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). If this relationship also exists among HAART-naïve patients, then HIV DNA may be implicated in the pathogenesis of HAD. In this study, we evaluated the relationship between HIV DNA and cognition in subjects naïve to HAART in a neuro AIDS cohort in Bangkok, Thailand. Subjects with and without HAD were recruited and matched for age, gender, education, and CD4 cell count. PBMC and cellular subsets were analyzed for HIV DNA using real-time PCR. The median log10 HIV DNA copies per 106 PBMC for subjects with HAD (n=15) was 4.27, which was higher than that found in subjects without dementia (ND; n=15), 2.28, p<0.001. This finding was unchanged in a multivariate model adjusting for plasma HIV-1 RNA levels. From a small subset of individuals, in which adequate number of cells were available, more HIV DNA was in monocytes/macrophages from those with HAD compared to those with ND. These results are consistent with a previous report among HAART-experienced subjects, thus further implicating HIV DNA in the pathogenesis of HAD.

Keywords: human immunodeficiency virus type 1, dementia, cognition, HIV DNA