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Ann Intern Med. 1985 Nov;103(5):760-4.

The psychosocial and neuropsychiatric sequelae of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and related disorders.


The acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and its related conditions are a public health problem of unprecedented proportions due to the debilitating and fatal nature of the disease, the sociocultural implications related to contagion, and its initial appearance in certain socially stigmatized groups. The ability of patients to tolerate the consequences of the disease depends on their psychological ability to cope based on emotional strength and the availability of social support. The psychological and social impact of AIDS may result in psychiatric symptoms similar to those seen in other life-threatening diseases, including anxiety, depression, and delirium. Neurologic complications are frequent, the commonest being an encephalopathy and dementia that is poorly understood. It is difficult in the early stages of AIDS to separate reactive depression and psychomotor retardation from symptoms associated with central nervous system complications. Guidelines are needed to manage the psychological problems posed by AIDS and its related conditions.

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