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Brain Injury May Continue During HIV Treatment

Brain Injury May Continue During HIV Treatment

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University of California, San Francisco, researchers reported at the 11th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections that HIV-related central nervous system complications, particularly the loss of white matter from the brain, can continue even in the presence of antiretroviral therapy. Magnetic resonance imaging and other tests showed that HIV-positive people on antiretroviral therapy had greater rates of ongoing white matter loss than their HIV-negative peers. Study subjects with the highest viral loads and lowest CD4-cell counts had the most significant white matter loss, according to researchers. The scientists conclude that HIV-positive people on anti-HIV drug regimens, particularly those with unsuppressed virus, may experience ongoing brain damage. It was unclear whether the damage is caused by HIV itself or by the drugs used to treat it. 'Although ongoing [white matter loss] is not accompanied by cognitive impairment, it is possible that the cumulative effects of ongoing brain damage may produce such impairments in the future,' the researchers said.

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Ryan is the Digital Director of The Advocate Channel, and a graduate of NYU Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing. She is also a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. While her specialties are television writing and comedy, Ryan is a young member of the LGBTQ+ community passionate about politics and advocating for all.

Ryan is the Digital Director of The Advocate Channel, and a graduate of NYU Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing. She is also a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. While her specialties are television writing and comedy, Ryan is a young member of the LGBTQ+ community passionate about politics and advocating for all.