Objective: To determine the seroprevalence of HIV among inpatients with neuropsychiatric and other central nervous system (CNS) disorders at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI).
Methods: Sera and data of hospital inpatients with disorders of the CNS were prospectively investigated and reviewed at the Virology Laboratory, UHWI, over the period January 1 to December 31, 2007. The study population included inpatients with a principal diagnosis of a neuropsychiatric or other CNS disorder and for whom a serological analysis for HIV had been requested. The CNS disorders were categorized as follows: neuropsychiatric disorder (eg schizophrenia), CNS infection (eg viral, bacterial), motor and psychogenic dysfunction not included in other categories (eg seizures), gross structural brain lesion (eg tumours) and other. HIV prevalence rates were calculated and compared according to age, gender and diagnostic category.
Results: Eighty-two patients were included. Sixty-one per cent were males and 39% females. The mean age in years (± SD) was 37.6 (± 16.3). There were significant differences in prevalence rates according to diagnostic category (p = 0.026). All of the patients with psychiatric disorders (n = 40) were HIVnegative and 25% (3 out of 12) of patients with CNS infection were HIV-positive. There were no statistically significant associations demonstrated between HIV and age or gender (p > 0.05).
Conclusion: Clinicians should have a high index of suspicion for HIV infection when faced with patients with CNS infection. Further research is needed to clearly identify the reasons for the comparatively low prevalence of HIV among the psychiatric patients included in this study.