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Gender, HIV Status, and Psychiatric Disorders: Results From the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions

J Clin Psychiatry 2012;73(3):384-391
10.4088/JCP.10m06304
Objective: More than 30 years after the onset of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic, there is no information on the prevalence of psychiatric disorders among HIV-positive individuals in the general population. We sought to compare the prevalence of 12-month psychiatric disorders among HIV-positive and HIV-negative adults stratified by sex and to examine the differential increase in risk of a psychiatric disorder as a function of the interaction of sex and HIV status.

Method: Face-to-face interviews were conducted between 2004 and 2005 with participants in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions Wave 2, a large nationally representative sample of US adults (34,653). The diagnostic interview used was the Alcohol Use Disorder and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule—DSM-IV Version.

Results: When compared with their HIV-negative same-sex counterparts, HIV-positive men were more likely to have any mood disorder (odds ratio [OR] = 6.10; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.99–12.44), major depressive disorder/dysthymia (OR = 3.77; 95% CI, 1.16–12.27), any anxiety disorder (OR = 4.02; 95% CI, 2.12–7.64), and any personality disorder (OR = 2.50; 95% CI, 1.34–4.67). In relation to their same-sex HIV-negative counterparts, the effect of HIV status on the odds of any mood disorder (OR = 7.17; 95% CI, 2.52–20.41), any anxiety disorder (OR = 3.45; 95% CI, 1.27–9.38), and any personality disorder (OR = 2.66; 95% CI, 1.16–6.10) was significantly greater for men than women.

Conclusions: HIV status was significantly more strongly associated with psychiatric disorders in men than in women. HIV-positive men had a higher prevalence than HIV-negative men of most psychiatric disorders. By contrast, HIV-positive women were not significantly more likely than HIV-negative women to have psychiatric disorders.

J Clin Psychiatry 2012; 73(3) 384-391​