Epidemiology

Neurologic illness affecting the peripheral or CNS occurs in 40-60% of HIV-infected people [1]. The most common opportunistic CNS infections and neoplasms associated with HIV infection are Toxoplasma encephalitis (TE), crypto-coccal meningitis, primary CNS lymphoma (PCNSL), progressive multifocal leukoen-cephalopathy (PML), HIV-associated dementia and cytomegalovirus (CMV) encephalitis [2]. Focal brain lesions occur in up to 17% of people with AIDS and are most often due to TE, PML or PCNSL [3]. The incidence of CNS disorders appears to be declining since the introduction of potent antiretroviral therapy (previously called highly active antiretroviral therapy or HAART) [4].

A low absolute CD4 count is the most important risk factor for the development of an opportunistic CNS infection or neoplasm.

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