Influence of depression and HIV serostatus on the neuropsychological performance of injecting drug users

Drenna Waldrop-Valverde, Raymond L. Ownby, Mahendra Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Depression is common in injecting drug users (IDUs), a group at significant risk for HIV infection. Moreover, both HIV infection and depression have been shown to adversely effect neurocognitive abilities. Understanding the effects of depression and HIV infection on the neurocognitive functioning of drug users is essential for appropriate management and/or treatment of these deficits in this population. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of depression and HIV status on cognitive functioning in 100 male and female IDUs. Participants were categorized into three groups of depression severity based on their scores on the Beck Depression Inventory: no depression, mild depression, and moderate to severe depression. The effects of depression and HIV serostatus as well as their interaction were assessed. Results indicated that regardless of serostatus, those with moderate to severe depression had lower scores on cognitive measures. These findings suggest that although depression contributes to poor neuropsychological performance in IDUs, this effect was not exacerbated by HIV infection. The finding also illustrates the importance of addressing depression-related neurocognitive deficits in IDUs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)372-378
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2005


  • Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
  • Brain
  • Psychiatry
  • Psychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neuroscience(all)


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