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I hope you post this - comment on your answer
Jul 13, 2006

I wanted to comment on your answer to Am I crazy to continue to be with someone HIV+? Jun 4, 2004

I came to the site with a similar question, being in a similar situation. What your post did not mention, but perhaps should have, is that many women with ADHD have a tendency to act impulsively. If that is true in her case, it should be taken into account when making her decision.

For some women with ADHD a tendency to be impulsive can translate to a tendency to not use protection. This is not simply anecdotal (though it has been my personal experience) there are many studies showing a correlation between ADHD and risky behavior.

I am not commenting on what decision she should make. But she wrote to you to get information to make an informed decision, and I think she needs to understand the risk factors of both HIV and ADHD to do that.

I hope you post this. The correlation between ADHD and risky sexual behavior is not talked about often enough. Having an awareness of a tendency can be very helpful in prevention including making decisions about what situations are appropriate for an individual; that includes relationships, parties, and so forth.

Response from Dr. Remien

I appreciate your comment and hope that others benefit from it as well. You are right to point out that conditions like ADHD, as well as other mental disorders (e.g., depression, post-traumatic stress, bi-polar disorder, etc.), can contribute to vulnerability in terms of "risk behaviors." It is important for people to be mindful of the potential reality of lapses in judgment and the very real risk of HIV transmission in serodiscordant couples. Impulsive behaviors can certainly contribute to this vulnerability.

As a clinical psychologist I am an advocate for people taking care of themselves, as well as their partner, and that often includes addressing their mental health needs. Mental health services are available in most settings, including for people with limited income. I encourage all to be mindful of, and to take care of, their own mental health. Again, thank you for your comment.


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