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Epidemiology of Psychiatric Disorders Associated with HIV and AIDS 

Epidemiology of Psychiatric Disorders Associated with HIV and AIDS
Epidemiology of Psychiatric Disorders Associated with HIV and AIDS

Francine Cournos

, Karen McKinnon

, and Milton Wainberg

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date: 13 July 2020

This chapter presents the prevalence of common and severe mental illnesses among people with HIV infection, as well as the prevalence of HIV infection among people with severe mental illness. It begins with a look at population-based studies, which are limited in number, then discusses specific disorders studied in smaller studies with selected populations. While the chapter is largely focused on epidemiology in the United States, selected studies from other regions are cited. Taken together, studies show that people with HIV infection have high rates of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders, although these disorders tend to be milder than they were before effective antiretroviral therapy. The rates of current alcohol- and drug-related disorders mirror those for the general population, but lifetime rates among people with HIV infection are higher, as are rates of depression, anxiety disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, psychosis and personality disorder. Rates of HIV infection among people with severe mental illness in the U.S. are clearly elevated in comparison to those for the general population. Despite scientific advances, the absence of a strong focus on mental disorders remains a glaring omission in progress on HIV prevention, care, and treatment.

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