The development of combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) has increased the lifespan of persons living with HIV (PLWH), with most PLWH having a normal life expectancy. While significant progress has occurred, PLWH continue to have multiple health complications, including HIV associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). While the exact cause of HAND is not known, persistent neuroinflammation is hypothesized to be an important potential contributor. Molecular imaging using positron emission tomography (PET) can non-invasively evaluate neuroinflammation. PET radiotracers specific for increased expression of the translocator protein18kDa (TSPO) on activated microglia can detect the presence of neuroinflammation in PLWH. However, results from these studies have been inconsistent and inconclusive. Future studies are needed to address key limitations that continue to persist with these techniques before accurate conclusions can be drawn regarding the role of persistent neuroinflammation in PLWH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-15
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 15 2019


  • (TSPO)
  • HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment (HAND)
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Translocator protein 18 kDa


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