Among older men living with HIV, stigma related to the virus has a compromising effect on their mental capabilities, according to cognitive tests that assess facets like memory and attention.

Publishing their findings in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, researchers enrolled 512 older white men with HIV in a study. The men were all receiving care in clinics across Canada.

The participants were given questionnaires about their experiences with HIV-related stigma and their mental health. They also underwent cognitive testing.

HIV-related stigma contributed to lower performance on such cognitive tests as well as worse mental health. These negative effects in turn impaired their everyday functioning and, for example, led men to withdraw from social activities.  

To read a press release about the study, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.