The core of this research study is the development and follow-up of a comprehensively characterized cohort of aging HIV positive individuals. This cohort will contribute to new knowledge on neurocognitive decline providing insights into the natural history and impact of cognitive symptoms and deficits, allowing us to define the heterogeneity underlying poor brain health, and for those who report good brain health at baseline, shedding light on the incidence of cognitive deficits in this aging population.
This study will also allow the validation of a brief, computerized approach to measuring cognitive ability against the current reference standard, resulting in a cognitive assessment tool practicable for routine clinical monitoring of brain health.
Finally, this cohort will serve as a sampling frame for intervention and mechanism-based studies that will be specifically adapted to the needs of this population through an iterative process involving research participants, community members, and those involved in the front line care of people with HIV. This work will provide needed estimates of the burden, heterogeneity, evolution, and mechanisms underlying compromised brain health in HIV, and engage a dynamic new team to understand and address this complex and important health condition.