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Hiv and mental illness
Feb 25, 2013

My niece was diagnosed with hiv at 16 years old. She is now 28 and has never received any treatment. Within the last year she has been in the hospital for schzophrenia and bipolar seven times which she also refuses to take medicine for. Could the Hiv disease have progressed to the point that it's affecting her mind.

Response from Mr. Vergel

Your question is a complex one. People with mental health issues that do not get stabilizing treatment of their symptoms have a lot of difficulty adhering to a daily HIV regimen unless they have a person ensuring that they take their psychiatric and HIV medications.

I hope that you can find a psychiatrist that can work with a local HIV provider to address her mental health and HIV treatment needs to help you or someone close to her hand hold her to stabilize her mental wellbeing and HIV control.

Nelson



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