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Bipolar disorder and HIV/sexual appetite response
Feb 11, 2007

This is more of a response, but I have to say it. I was diagnosed as being bipolar 7 years ago, but probably have been for about 10. My question/response is about the woman who asked you about her daughter with HIV and bipolar and she was wondering if the bipolar disorder was a symptom of the HIV. I'm sure you know this already, but during mania, sexual addictions are common in bipolar people. Is it possible the daughter was bipolar 11 years ago and has HIV as a result of her being bipolar, most likely during a manic episode? I've always been told that Bipolar disorder is a genetic disorder. I just had never heard that you could become bipolar because of another disease. Thank you.

Response from Dr. Horwath

Bipolar disorder can be a result of more than one cause. It's true that genetic causes contribute to bipolar disorder, but other factors can contribute as well. We know that HIV can cause the onset of manic episodes in people who haven't had them previously.

However, your point is well taken. We know that when someone is in a manic episode, it can increase their impulsivity and impair their judgment, leading to risky sexual behavior. So it can work both ways. Bipolar disorder can increase the rsik for HIV infection. And HIV can increase the risk for manic episodes.



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