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The Role of Psychiatric Disorders in HIV Transmission and Prevention 

The Role of Psychiatric Disorders in HIV Transmission and Prevention
The Role of Psychiatric Disorders in HIV Transmission and Prevention

Andréa L. Hobkirk

, Seth C. Kalichman

, David M. Stoff

, and Christina S. Meade

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date: 05 August 2020

Adults with severe mental illness (SMI) have been disproportionately affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, with prevalence estimates ranging from 1% to 8% in the United States and up to 27% internationally. Compared to the general population, adults with SMI tend to engage in higher rates of sexual and drug use behaviors associated with HIV transmission. In addition, psychiatric illness can develop secondary to HIV infection and contribute to further transmission on HIV to others. HIV risk behavior is driven by several direct and indirect factors, including psychiatric symptoms, substance use, traumatic experience, socioeconomic status, and HIV infection itself. This chapter addresses the complex multidimensional relationship between psychiatric disorders and transmission of HIV as well as its prevention. This chapter also presents several HIV risk reduction interventions designed for vulnerable men and women in outpatient mental health clinics and the community.

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