UK Community Advisory Board (UK-CAB)

UK-CAB 59: HIV and the brain

Friday 8 July 2016


09.45-10.00 Welcome and introductions, UK-CAB updates, company pre-meeting
10.00-10.30  BME access to mental health care in Leicester – Johnson Mwangi
10.30-11.15 HIV neurology – Dr Nick Davies, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
11.15-11.30 BREAK
11.30-12.30 Cognitive impairment in well treated cohorts – Dr Jonathan Underwood, Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
12.30-14.00 LUNCH
14.00-15.30 Company meeting: ViiV Healthcare
15.30-15.40 BREAK
15.40-16.10 Study discussion: SELPHI UK– Mitzy Gafos, MRC Clinical Trials Unit
16.10-16.55 Member updates:

  • London HIV Prevention Program Evaluation Advisory Committee – Winnie Sseruma
  • UN High Level meeting feedback – Esther Williams
  • United4PrEP – Paul Clift
  • PrEP rally feedback (members)
16.55-17.00 AOB, Meeting close

 Presentations from this meeting:

BME access to mental health Leicester
HIV neurology
Cognitive impairment in well treated cohorts – part 1
Cognitive impairment in well treated cohorts – part 2
SELPHI study

Background reading

HIV Associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HAND)
Introductory article on HAND which can occur when HIV enters the nervous system and impacts the health of nerve cells.

Cognitive impairment – key consideration for people living with HIV:
Easy to read article with an overview on signs and symptoms; diagnostic tools; causes and risk factors. It also gives a treatment overview; drug-drug interactions; when to refer and possible complications

HIV and Your Brain 
This is basic information about how HIV affects the brain in people with well controlled HIV: How common it is, which people are most vulnerable to HIV-related brain damage, and whether and how quickly it can progress from a mild disorder to one that is more serious. Researchers are hard at work to answer these questions and to determine whether there are medications that can slow or minimize HIV-related neurocognitive problems.

Broad range of risk factors associated with mild cognitive impairment in HIV-positive men on ART
A broad range of factors are associated with cognitive impairment in middle-aged HIV-positive men, according to Dutch research published in the online edition of AIDS. The observational, cross-sectional, case-controlled study involved antiretroviral-treated participants with sustained viral suppression. Reduced cognitive function was associated with cannabis use, depression, metabolic factors and previous HIV-related immune suppression.

Antidepressant modestly improves HIV-related cognitive impairment
This was a study presented at CROI which enrolled 45 people with HIV, on stable ART for at least three months, who demonstrated evidence of impairment on at least two neuropsychological tests.

Neurocognitive disorder, persistent inverted CD4:CD8 ratios and immune activation in the CNS
This article is on immune activation in the central nervous system (CNS). Current evidence doesn’t suggest neurological complications will broadly affect all HIV positive people especially in the context of having undetectable viral load in the spinal fluid on ART.


Understanding HAND (10min)
An easy to understand video by Prof Edwina Rush from Alzheimer’s Asscociation, Australia.

Assessment, Diagnosis and Treatment of HAND (15min)
An educational video on assessment, diagnosis and treatment of HAND. Its easy to understand and follow.


Financial support

The UK-CAB receives unrestricted funding from some pharmaceutical companies towards the direct costs of holding four meetings each year. This funding supports the travel and accommodation costs for members to attend from outside London, plus the cost of catering.

The content, programme and agenda for meetings is decided by the UK-CAB steering group in consultation with the wider membership. Funding is unconnected to meeting content.

Companies that develop and market medicines have a responsibility to actively engage with advocacy organisations. HIV positive people and their advocates should also be able to ask manufacturers directly about the safety and efficacy of their products. We should be involved in their proposals for future research.

For a list of companies that support the UK-CAB please see the “about us” page.