Efavirenz use and neurocognitive performance among older people living with HIV who were on antiretroviral therapy

Pei Qin, Jianmei He, Zixin Wang, Xi Chen, Jinghua Li, Ada Wai Tung Fung, Hui Jiang, Jie Chen, Anna Wong, Joseph Tak Fai Lau

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This study was to compare global and domain-specific neurocognitive performance between older people living with HIV (PLWH) taking/not taking efavirenz (EFV) and HIV-negative controls. A cross-sectional study was conducted in Yongzhou city, China. All PLWH older than 50 years listed on the registry of Centres for Disease Control and Prevention were invited to join the study. Frequency matching was used to sample HIV-negative controls according to the distribution of age, sex, and years of formal education of older PLWH. A total of 308 older PLWH and 350 HIV-negative controls completed the face-to-face interview and neurocognitive assessment using the comprehensive neuropsychological test battery. After adjusting for significant confounders, older PLWH taking EFV showed poorer performance in memory (p = 0.020), verbal fluency (p = 0.002), and poorer global neurocognitive performance (p = 0.032) than those without EFV use. Compared to HIV-negative controls, older PLWH taking EFV had poorer performance in all neurocognitive domains (p values: <0.001–0.003) and poorer global neurocognitive performance (p < 0.001). Similar trends were observed when comparing older PLWH without using EFV versus HIV-negative controls, with the exception of verbal fluency (p = 0.560). Health care workers should monitor the neuropsychological performance of older PLWH, epically those who were taking EFV. Longitudinal studies are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-20
Number of pages9
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020


  • China
  • Efavirenz use
  • Neurocognitive performance
  • older people living with HIV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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