Study Overview

Before the ground-breaking discovery of antiretroviral therapy (ART), an HIV diagnosis was considered a death sentence with many HIV-infected people dying from AIDs-related illnesses. Nonetheless, decades later, the life expectancy of people living with HIV is approaching that of the general population. Despite the ongoing global efforts in tackling the HIV epidemic thus far, a variety of new challenges with an adverse effect on the quality of life of people living with HIV still exist. Of particular concern is the array of neuropsychiatric comorbidities associated with long-term HIV including mental health problems, neurocognitive disorders, drug and substance abuse and functional impairments. The persistent occurrence of these complications in the ART period has been associated with direct effects of HIV to the brain, emergence of virologic failure, direct and indirect effects of some ART drugs, psychosocial challenges, and concurrent illnesses.

  • Adolescent Health Outcomes Study (AHOS): comprises of 600 adolescents 12-17 years (200 perinatally HIV infected, 200 perinatally HIV exposed but uninfected and 200 HIV unexposed uninfected) together with their caregivers
  • Emerging adults study: comprises of 800 young people 18 -24 years (400 HIV infected and 400 HIV uninfected)
  • HIV and Aging study: comprises of 450 older adults ≥50 years (250 HIV infected and 200 HIV uninfected)
  • Describe the profiles of cognitive functioning among adolescents exposed to HIV and examine their associations with scholastic outcomes, mental health, health risk behaviour and ARV adherence at the Kenyan coast.
  • Examine mental and substance use problems comorbid with HIV in young people at the Kenyan coast: Prevalence, correlates and preliminary evaluation of problem management plus (PM+) intervention
  • Describe and quantify the burden of neurobehavioral impairments, and their underlying determinants among HIV infected older adults (≥50 years) and demographically-similar HIV uninfected older adults at the coast of Kenya


Prof. Amina Abubakar

Project Principal Investigator

Prof. Charles Newton

Principal Investigator

Gaia Scerif


Amin Hassan


Derrick Ssewanyana


Moses Kachama

Principal Investigator


Collaborating institutions