Monday, November 02, 2009

Another kind of AIDS crisis

"A striking number of HIV patients are living longer but getting older faster—showing early signs of dementia and bone weakness usually seen in the elderly."

David France writes:
But in the last year or so, doctors have been troubled by the emergence of a new kind of AIDS story. Take the case of James L., 46. After testing positive in 2001, he went on a drug cocktail and life returned to normal with little effort. His exercise regime only intensified. He even went back to school for a master’s degree. At work, he rose to a six-figure position at a telecommunications firm, and his personal life flourished. He was, he told me, “a regular gay male.”

Then, halfway through a screening of the film Syriana in his local cinema, he had a disturbing revelation. “He sat through about half the movie before he realized suddenly that he had seen the same movie two weeks earlier,” says Simpson. Indeed, James ultimately pieced together evidence suggesting he’d seen the film on three separate occasions. The same problem haunted him at work. Where he had once earned praise for his organizational skills, he now drew warnings. He seemed incapable of recalling recent events with any reliability. “It’s an Alzheimer’s-like state,” he explains. Earlier this year, Simpson diagnosed him with HIV-associated cognitive motor disorder. READ MORE