HIV/AIDS Testing More Prevalent Among Mental Health Patients

Blood test vial

A recent study shows that AIDS/HIV awareness is becoming more prevalent among mental health care providers. The Johns Hopkins HIV clinic was reported in the Psychiatric Times as having found that 54 percent of patients had a mental disorder other than substance abuse. Another study from Penn University and the Centers for Disease Control found that of 21,875 respondents from a National Health Interview Survey, 15 percent of them reported a psychiatric disorder and among those, 48.5 percent had been tested for HIV versus 35 percent of those without mental illness.

This increased testing among mentally ill patients is encouraging as other studies have found that those with psychiatric disorders are four times as likely to have HIV or AIDS than are those who do not. It's also well-known that HIV has a definite impact on mental health.

"Our study shows that persons with mental illness and/or their care providers recognize that they are at higher risk and should be tested," explained senior author Michael B. Blank, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania in a release.


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