Publication Date



Open access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

F. Daniel Armstrong - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Michael Antoni - Committee Co-Chair

Third Committee Member

Alexandra Quittner - Committee Member

Fourth Committee Member

Peter Mundy - Committee Member

Fifth Committee Member

Elizabeth Willen - Outside Committee Member


This study is one of the only investigations to examine the complex inter-relationships between immune status, cognitive functioning, and disease progression in school-aged, perinatally infected, HIV+ children on HAART over time and is the first to conduct long-term follow-up assessments beyond one year after initiating HAART. Previous research has shown that HIV+ children on HAART show stability in cognitive functioning for up to one year. The current study investigated cognitive functioning, as measured by the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children -III, as a function of immune functioning and disease progression over time in this sample. Overall, results showed that PIQ scores remained stable over the three time points. However, further analyses demonstrated that poorer immune status, as measured by CD4% <25, at the first time point significantly predicted lower Performance IQ (PIQ)scores and PIQ subtest scores at the third time point, even after controlling for covariates. Similarly, additional analyses revealed that PIQ scores significantly declined over time as a function of CD4% category at the first time point. Finally, scores on the PIQ, Verbal IQ (VIQ), Coding, Picture Arrangement, Symbol Search, and Arithmetic at the first time point were all significant predictors of more advanced disease progression, as measured by CDC C classification at follow-up. The clinical relevance of this study and recommendations for future research in this area are discussed


CD4 Percentage; HAART; Neuropsychology; Pediatric HIV; HIV Infection; AIDS