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Psychiatric Context of Acute/Early HIV Infection. The NIMH Multisite Acute HIV Infection Study: IV

  • Atkinson, J. Hampton
  • Higgins, Jenny A.
  • Vigil, Ofilio
  • Dubrow, Robert
  • Remien, Robert H.
  • Steward, Wayne T.
  • Casey, Corinna Young
  • Sikkema, Kathleen J.
  • Correale, Jackie
  • Ake, Chris
  • McCutchan, J. Allen
  • Kerndt, Peter R.
  • Morin, Stephen F.
  • Grant, Igor
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2009
eScholarship - University of California
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Acute/early HIV infection is a period of high risk for HIV transmission. Better understanding of behavioral aspects during this period could improve interventions to limit further transmission. Thirty-four participants with acute/early HIV infection from six US cities were assessed with the Mini International Diagnostic Interview, Beck Depression Inventory II, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Brief COPE, and an in-depth interview. Most had a pre-HIV history of alcohol or substance use disorder (85%); a majority (53%) had a history of major depressive or bipolar disorder. However, post-diagnosis coping was predominantly adaptive, with only mild to moderate elevations of anxious or depressive mood. Respondents described challenges managing HIV in tandem with pre-existing substance abuse problems, depression, and anxiety. Integration into medical and community services was associated with adaptive coping. The psychiatric context of acute/early HIV infection may be a precursor to infection, but not necessarily a barrier to intervention to reduce forward transmission of HIV among persons newly infected.


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