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HIV infection and its psychiatric manifestations: A clinical overview

  • Mark Jonathan Knights, Alexandros Chatziagorakis and Surendra Kumar Buggineni

Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has led to a reduction in HIV-related morbidity and mortality, and the life expectancy of HIV-positive individuals has improved significantly. It is therefore becoming more likely that clinicians will encounter patients with psychiatric manifestations of the disease. This review summarises the evidence on prevalence, manifestations and treatment of psychiatric conditions in HIV-positive adults. The most prevalent psychiatric illness in this population is depression (35.6%), followed by substance misuse, anxiety, psychosis, adjustment disorder and bipolar affective disorder. Neurocognitive impairment is also common, ranging in severity from asymptomatic (the most frequent) to dementia (the least frequent). Effective treatment of both HIV and psychiatric manifestations is essential to maximising life expectancy and quality of life.

Learning Objectives

• Comprehend the prevalence, manifestations and treatment of psychiatric conditions in HIV-positive individuals

• Learn about the HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders

• Develop an understanding of the relationship between HIV infection and psychiatric symptoms

Corresponding author
Correspondence Dr Alexandros Chatziagorakis, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Fieldhead Hospital, Wakefield WF1 3SP, UK. Email:
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HIV infection and its psychiatric manifestations: A clinical overview

  • Mark Jonathan Knights, Alexandros Chatziagorakis and Surendra Kumar Buggineni
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