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Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 1995 Sep;17(5):346-52.

An assessment of rates of psychiatric morbidity and functioning in HIV disease.

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  • 1Grady Health System Infectious Disease Program, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30308, USA.


This study examined demography, rates of psychopathology, and functional impairment in HIV-seropositive women and men in a large, urban, public outpatient infectious disease clinic. Fifty-three percent of the women and 70% of the men met Structural Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R criteria for psychiatric disorders. Current mood disorders were the most frequent diagnoses, followed by psychoactive substance abuse/dependence disorders and psychotic disorders. Seventy-six percent of the women and 90% of the men had previous psychiatric histories, including 59% of the women and 55% of the men who had psychiatric histories prior to their knowledge of HIV seroconversion. Depressed subjects reported significant impairment in physical, social, and role functioning. Similarly, impairment in physical functioning was highly correlated with self-reported anxiety symptoms. These data suggest considerable past and current psychiatric comorbidity in HIV-infected individuals seeking medical care, and draw attention to the need for recognition and aggressive psychiatric treatment, particularly for those depressed and anxious patients with impaired functioning.

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