Project

Neuropathogenesis of clade C HIV in South Africa

Neuropathogenesis of clade C HIV in South Africa

Principal Investigator: Paul, Robert
Funder: National Institute of Mental Health
Official Title: Neuropathogenesis of clade C HIV in South Africa

Neuropathogenesis of clade C HIV in South Africa

Clade C represents the most common form of HIV in the world and remains a dominant strain in South Africa. Early studies suggest that individuals infected with clade C HIV may be less likely to develop cognitive impairments due to a natural variation in the dicysteine motif of the Tat protein (C31S) evident in clade C virus. It is unknown whether the cognitive impairments identified in clade C are present in the context of the Tat protein defect, or if they relate to other virologic correlates of cognitive function. We will examine laboratory, cognitive and neuroimaging data obtained from 200 treatment-naive, HIV-positive individuals from South Africa with clade C HIV and 50 seronegative healthy controls, matched on demographic characteristics. This will be the first transdisciplinary study of clade C neuropathogenesis. Results will significantly advance our understanding of viral clade diversity and cognitive outcomes associated with HIV.

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