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A controlled neuropsychological study of HIV-seropositive and HIV-seronegative adolescent haemophiliacs.
Thompson, C., Westwell, P., Viney, D., Wilson, B.A., Hill, F., Harrington, R., Bryant, T.N. & Pickering, R.
Haemophilia, 2, 145-152
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Sixty-four males with haemophilia were assessed with a series of neuropsychological tests and a structured interview for psychiatric symptoms. Thirty-one had been infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) before the age of 18 and were in various stages of the disease at the time of testing and 33 were HIV negative. Sixteen male control subjects were recruited to match in age with the haemophilia group. The HIV-seropositive group were older than the HIV-negative group due to the cohort effect of the time of infection. Contrary to predictions from the known effects of HIV on the central nervous system the HIV-seropositive group performed better on many of the tests than the HIV-seronegative group. In some but not all of the tests this may have been an age effect. There was very little psychiatric morbidity, consistent with the view that high levels of psychological support provided by the haemophilia units can alleviate the effects of the illness on emotions and behaviour. These findings form a baseline for a 2-year follow-up study which is in progress.