Original Paper

Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 212-219

Depressive symptoms over the course of HIV infection before AIDS

  • C. G. LyketsosAffiliated withDepartments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Mental Hygiene, and Epidemiology, Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Oster 320, The Johns Hopkins University
  • , D. R. HooverAffiliated withDepartments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Mental Hygiene, and Epidemiology, Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Oster 320, The Johns Hopkins University
  • , M. GuccioneAffiliated withDepartments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Mental Hygiene, and Epidemiology, Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Oster 320, The Johns Hopkins University
  • , G. J. TreismanAffiliated withDepartments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Mental Hygiene, and Epidemiology, Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Oster 320, The Johns Hopkins University
  • , M. A. DewAffiliated withDepartments of Psychiatry and Epidemiology, School of Medicine and School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh
  • , J. WeschAffiliated withThe Howard Brown Memorial Clinic, Northwestern University
  • , E. G. BingAffiliated withDepartments of Psychiatry, Charles R Drew University and UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute

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Abstract

The objective of this study was to describe the prevalence and course of depressive symptoms before AIDS in HIV-infected homosexual men. A descriptive and comparative analysis of data from HIV-infected and-uninfected homosexual men in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study was performed. The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) was the primary measure of depressive symptoms. The prevalence of depressive symptoms and CES-D caseness estimates in the AIDS-free HIV-infected homosexual men were stable over time. Small differences between HIV seropositive and seronegative men were detected on the CES-D and on three of its subscales. These were mostly accounted for by less hope, and by more fearfulness, insomnia, and anorexia in the seropositive cohort. We concluded that there does not appear to be an overall increase in depressive symptoms in HIV-infected homosexual men from the time of infection until prior to AIDS. However, this group of men consistently report specific depressive symptoms more often. Implications of these findings for the clinical care of HIV-infected patients is discussed.