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Mental Health and HIVMental Health and HIV
           
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Bipolar
Aug 26, 2004

Do undiagnosed cases of bipolar disease tend to raise chances of becoming HIV+ due to risky sexual behavior that is often found in people who are manic-depressive?

Response from Dr. Horwath

Yes, in fact a variety of psychiatric disorders may place people at higher risk of HIV infection. Depression and anxiety disorders may also interfere with a persons judgment or impair their ability to make appropriate decisions about sexual behavior or drug use. Bipolar disorder is particularly problematic because mania is associated with increased impulsivity and impaired judgment.

The treatment of psychiatric disorders like these is an important step toward more effective primary and secondary prevention of HIV infection and its complications.



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