Open J Psychiatry Allied Sci. 2019 Jan 19. [Epub ahead of print]

Psychiatric morbidities in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive patients.

Srivastava AS, Kumar R, Rai M, Tripathi MN, Yadav JS, Pandey AK.

Abstract

Background: The HIV/AIDS epidemic has existed for over two decades in India. The mental health needs of people infected with HIV has to be evaluated and looked after properly by mental health professionals. Aim and objectives: This study was carried out with the aim to find out psychiatric morbidity in patients infected with HIV so that a proper evaluation and comprehensive management can be planned to improve the overall quality of life of these people. Methodology: One hundred patients infected with HIV attending anti-retroviral therapy (ART) clinic, before starting ART, were included in the study. They were screened for presence of psychiatric morbidity on a structured proforma containing sociodemographic details, and inclusion and exclusion criteria for the study. The diagnosis of HIV positive was based on seropositive status of ELISA for HIV and psychiatric diagnosis was based on ICD-10. Rating scales (HAM-A, HAM-D, Y-BOCS, and BPRS) were used to assess the severity of the psychiatric illness. Chi-square test, t-test, and Pearson’s correlation coefficient were used for analysis of data. Results: Majority of the patients (42%) belonged to younger age group (21-30 years). Percentage of females (59%) infected with HIV was higher than males (41%). Most of the patients (71%) belonged to lower socioeconomic status and 92% got infection through sexual contact. Psychiatric morbidity was detected in 62% of the patients – 40% had depressive episode, 12% had generalized anxiety disorder, and ten per cent had adjustment disorder. A positive correlation was observed between duration of illness and HAM-D score. Conclusion: High percentage (62%) of psychiatric morbidity in HIV positive patients indicates that psychiatric evaluation of HIV positive individuals must be carried out by expert mental health professionals and comprehensive management must be planned for better quality of life.

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