OBJECTIVES : Even though there is an association between hearing loss and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), particularly in low- and middle-income countries, further research is needed to investigate the nature of such hearing loss. Likewise, despite documented vestibular alterations in people with HIV, the true occurrence, presentation, and nature of these manifestations are yet to be established. Advances in technology for vestibular testing has allowed for objective site-of-lesion tests such as the video head impulse test (vHIT), cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (cVEMPs) and ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potential (oVEMPs). The current study aimed to compare and describe auditory, vHIT, cVEMPs and oVEMPs findings in adults with and without HIV.
METHODS : The current study included an HIV positive group (n = 30) and an HIV negative group (n = 30) who underwent an auditory assessment (tympanometry and pure tone audiometry) and objective vestibular assessments.
RESULTS : The occurrence of hearing loss was 53.3% in the HIV positive group compared to 33.3% in the HIV negative group. A higher occurrence of vestibular involvement was documented in the HIV positive group (73.3%) compared to 13.3% in the HIV negative group.
CONCLUSION : Auditory assessment and objective measures of vestibular end-organ function (vHIT and VEMPs) can be useful to detect sub-clinical alterations. The equipment is mobile and can be performed in any health care setting such as infectious disease clinics for surveillance and monitoring purposes.