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HIV and Depression

Nov 6, 2004

I am an HIV Positive male; a long-term, non-progressive, HIV Positive male of 15 years. Recently and over the years, I have suffered with intermittent depression and have seen a lot of my friends and associates (males and females) suffer from depression and compulsive behavior disorders, stemming from depression. I want to know if theres some about being infected that alters mood changes, in an infected person?

Response from Dr. Horwath

In general, studies of people who are HIV positive, but don't have symptoms of waning immune status (and do not have a history of drug or alcohol abuse or past psychiatric disorder), do not have any higher risk of depression than people who are HIV negative.

The risk of depression is higher for HIV positive persons who have cognitive impairment, impaired immunity, medical illness, drug or alcohol abuse, or history of other psychiatric disorders.

Time frame from exposure to AIDS

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