How can her memory be improve?
My HIV-positive mother has, of late, become mentally ill. She talks in an uncoordinated way and is disruptive. We took her to see a psychiatrist, who put her on drugs that have helped her to calm down.
My HIV-positive mother has, of late, become mentally ill. She talks in an uncoordinated way and is disruptive. We took her to see a psychiatrist, who put her on drugs that have helped her to calm down. However, I have now noticed that she has become so forgetful and she does not even remember our names. She is not yet on ARVs because her CD4 count is still high at 534 cells/ml. Is there anything we can use to help improve her memory?
Psychosis, associated with HIV, is common among people living with HIV (PLHIV). It is good that your mother is being handled by a psychiatrist, who will address her mental health needs; and as you have noted, she is now more calm and less disruptive, following the treatment.
The other condition you mention,which she has, is dementia or forgetfulness. This is known as HIV-associated dementia and it often presents as failure to concentrate, or at its worst, a patient may fail to perform daily activities on his own. HIV-associated dementia is an AIDS-defining illness. Others include: TB, cryptococcocal meningitis, cancer and brain abscess.
PLHIV, who have these illnesses, should be put on antiretroviral therapy regardless of their CD4 count. Many patients with dementia improve once they are put on ARVs and they adhere to the treatment.
However, because of her mental condition, she will need to have a supporter who will give her the treatment as prescribed until her memory improves. That is when she can look after herself, including taking her medication without forgetting or mixing them up.