Psychiatric Comorbidity of Unipolar Mood, Anxiety, and Trauma Disorders Prior to HIV Testing and the Effect on Linkage to Care Among HIV-Infected Adults in South Africa.
Psychiatric comorbidity, the presence of two or more psychiatric disorders, leads to worse HIV outcomes in the United States; this relationship has not been studied in sub-Saharan Africa. We conducted a preliminary study to describe the prevalence of psychiatric comorbidity (unipolar mood, anxiety, and trauma disorders) among 363 adults prior to HIV testing at Witkoppen Health and Welfare Centre, a primary care clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa. We also examined whether psychiatric comorbidity predicted subsequent linkage to HIV care 3 months later. Prevalence of psychiatric comorbidity prior to HIV testing was approximately 5.5%. In the final HIV-positive subsample (n = 76), psychiatric comorbidity of unipolar mood, anxiety, and trauma disorders did not predict linkage to care [adjusted relative risk = 1.01 (0.59, 1.71)] or number of follow-up appointments (adjusted relative risk = 0.86 (0.40, 1.82)]. A similar psychiatric profile emerged for HIV-positive and HIV-negative individuals before becoming aware of their HIV status. The psychiatric burden typically seen in HIV-positive individuals may manifest over time.
Belus, JM; Cholera, R; Miller, WC; Bassett, J; Gaynes, BN
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