Adults with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, may have poorer hearing than those without HIV infection, a U.S. study said Friday.
To determine if HIV and antiretroviral therapy are associated with hearing loss, Peter Torre III of San Diego State University, California, and colleagues evaluated the hearing of 262 men, of whom 117 were HIV positive, and 134 women, of whom 105 were HIV positive.
The men had an average age of 57 years and the women were an average age of nearly 48.
The study found people with HIV tended to have worse lower- and higher-frequency hearing compared with those without HIV.
The results, published online in the U.S. journal JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, were independent of long-term exposure to antiretroviral medications, HIV viral load, current count of CD4+ cells, the immune cells that HIV attacks and kills.
“To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate that HIV+ individuals have poorer hearing across the frequency range after many other factors known to affect hearing have been controlled for,” the study concluded.