Objective: HIV dementia is an important neurological complication of advanced HIV infection. The use of a cross-cultural screening test to detect HIV dementia within the international community is critical for diagnosing this condition. The objective of this study was to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of a new screening test for HIV dementia, the International HIV Dementia Scale (IHDS) in cohorts from the US and Uganda.
Design: Two cross-sectional cohort studies designed to evaluate for the presence of HIV dementia.
Methods: Sixty-six HIV-positive individuals in the US and 81 HIV-positive individuals in Uganda received the IHDS and full standardized neurological and neuropsychological assessments. The sensitivity and specificity of varying cut-off scores of the IHDS were evaluated in the two cohorts.
Results: In the US cohort, the mean IHDS score for HIV-positive individuals without dementia and with dementia were 10.6 and 9.3 respectively (P < 0.001). Using the cut-off of ≤ 10, the sensitivity and specificity for HIV dementia with the IHDS were 80% and 57% respectively in the US cohort, and 80% and 55% respectively in the Uganda cohort.
Conclusions: The IHDS may be a useful screening test to identify individuals at risk for HIV dementia in both the industrialized world and the developing world. Full neuropsychological testing should then be performed to confirm a diagnosis of HIV dementia.