A new study showed that the individuals who have contracted the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) can experience poorer low frequency or high frequency hearing than those without HIV infection. The findings were published in the JAMA Network Journals on 26 December 2014.
The study was conducted by Peter Torre III of San Diego State University and his colleagues from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, Bloomberg School of Public Health and Georgetown University Medical Centre.
• The team recruited a total of 262 men (117 were HIV positive) from the greater Baltimore-Washington DC site of the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study and 134 women (105 were HIV positive) from the Washington DC site of the Women’s Interagency HIV Study.
• The men were 57 years old on average, while the average age of the women was nearly 48.
• The team tested low-frequency pure-tone average (LPTA) at 250, 500, 1000 and 2000 hertz and high-frequency PTA (HPTA) at 3000, 4000, 6000 and 8000 hertz.
Findings of the study
Both the HPTA and LPTA were significantly higher for HIV positive adults, showing that their hearing was worse. However, relationship between HIV and hearing loss in the era of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) was not investigated thoroughly
High-frequency hearing loss is consistent with accelerated aging, but low-frequency hearing loss in this age group was unexpected.