Rates of HIV infection, STDs, and sexual and drug-use risk behaviors are high among people with severe mental illness. Clinicians often are in the best position to connect psychiatric patients to the particular HIV-related services they need. These may include prevention interventions, risk assessment, antibody test counseling, and medical care. This review article describes the AIDS epidemic and its underpinnings in this population in an effort to help clinicians to recognize when their patients are at risk for acquiring or transmitting the virus and to intervene appropriately and effectively with an array of relevant services. The importance of training to enhance clinicians' skills and comfort in delivering these services is emphasized. The lives and well-being of psychiatric patients are threatened by the AIDS epidemic, and there is much clinicians can do to minimize the devastating impact of HIV and AIDS on clients in hospitals, clinics, and other psychiatric treatment settings.
Psychiatric Quarterly – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2004
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