Addressing risk factors of cognitive impairment in adults aging with HIV: A social work model

Academic Article


  • With advances in life-extending medications and later- life infections, the number of older adults with HIV is increasing. Unfortunately, the synergistic effects of aging with HIV may place many people at risk of developing cognitive impairments which can disrupt everyday functioning. Fortunately, cognitive reserve may be maintained, or in some cases improved, by taking action to prevent or mitigate such loss. Preventative and treatment strategies that support biopsychosocial aspects of cognition include reducing alcohol and substance use; improving nutrition; diminishing the effects of comorbidities; increasing social contact; reducing depression and stress levels; engaging in cognitively stimulating activities; applying cognitive remediation therapies; and incorporating psychopharmacological interventions. Such strategies can improve the physiological integrity and health of the brain, thus supporting neuroplasticity and increasing cognitive reserve. Social workers are in a favorable position to recognize cognitive decline in clients and recommend or administer solutions to address such problems.Amodel for social workers advocating for older clients with HIV who have cognitive problems is provided. © by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Vance DE; Struzick TC
  • Start Page

  • 51
  • End Page

  • 77
  • Volume

  • 49
  • Issue

  • 4