Patients with HIV-AIDS treated with antiretroviral drugs still have high prevalence of cognitive disorders and many factors are likely to contribute for ongoing neurologic decline such as chronic low-level infection, coinfections with hepatitis B and C and genetic influences, both the virus and the host. Some evidences suggest that the genetic APOE polymorphism may be an associated risk factor. This study aimed to evaluate the association between APOE polymorphisms and cognitive disorders in patients with HIV-AIDS. This was a cross-sectional study comprising 133 patients aged 19-59 years old, with HIV-AIDS and were assisted at the infectious disease outpatient clinics at Hospital Universitário Oswaldo Cruz, in Recife, Brazil. For cognitive evaluation, Mini-Mental State Examination test (MMSE) and Montreal Cognitive Assessment test (MoCA) were used. The determination of APOE gene polymorphism was performed by using the PCR-RFLP technique. Sociodemographic and clinical characteristics were not significantly associated to APOE ε4 polymorphism, except for the high results of CD4 rate (p < 0.015). There was an absence associated between APOE ε4 polymorphism and neurocognitive tests. This study found no association between cognitive alterations and APOE polymorphism in patients with HIV-AIDS in the Northeast of Brazil. The imbalance of APOE allelic frequency distribution, according to Hardy-Weinberg law, there could be an adjustment phase of its equilibrium suffered by the HIV virus, however, the mechanism is still unknown.

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