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Psychiatr Serv. 2002 Jul;53(7):868-73.

Co-occurrence of HIV and serious mental illness among Medicaid recipients.

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  • 1Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research in the Department of Psychiatry of the School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, 3535 Market Street, Suite 3020, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-2641, USA.



The authors estimated the treated period prevalence of HIV infection in the Medicaid population and the rate of HIV infection among persons with serious mental illness in that population.


This cross-sectional study used Medicaid claims data and welfare recipient files for persons aged 18 years or older for fiscal years 1994 through 1996 in Philadelphia. Claims data were merged with welfare recipient files to calculate the treated period prevalence of serious mental illness, defined as a schizophrenia spectrum disorder or a major affective disorder, and HIV infection in the Medicaid population and the odds of receiving a diagnosis of HIV infection among those who had a diagnosis of serious mental illness.


The treated period prevalence of HIV infection was.6 percent among Medicaid recipients who did not have a diagnosis of a serious mental illness and 1.8 percent among those who did. After sex, age, race, and time on welfare during the study period were controlled for, patients with a schizophrenia spectrum disorder were 1.5 times as likely to have a diagnosis of HIV infection, and patients with a diagnosis of a major affective disorder were 3.8 times as likely.


The rate of HIV infection is significantly elevated among persons with serious mental illness. Further studies are needed to determine modes of transmission of HIV, special treatment needs, and effective strategies for reducing the risk of HIV infection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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