Brief Report

AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 17, Supplement 1, pp 77-81

First online:

A Description of Common Mental Disorders in Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) Referred for Assessment and Intervention at an MSM Clinic in Cape Town, South Africa

  • Kevin StoloffAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape TownDepartment of Psychiatry and Mental health, Groote Schuur Hospital Email author 
  • , John A. JoskaAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town
  • , Dorothy FeastAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town
  • , Glenn De SwardtAffiliated withAnova Health Institute
  • , Johan HugoAffiliated withAnova Health Institute
  • , Helen StruthersAffiliated withAnova Health Institute
  • , James McIntyreAffiliated withAnova Health InstituteCentre for Infectious Diseases Epidemiology and Research, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town
  • , Kevin RebeAffiliated withAnova Health Institute

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Men who have sex with men (MSM) have a higher prevalence of common mental disorders (CMD), as compared with heterosexual men. HIV infection is independently associated with higher rates of CMD. Given this context, and the high background community prevalence of HIV in South Africa, MSM are at even greater risk of developing CMD. The aim of this research was to investigate neuropsychiatric symptoms and disorders in MSM who were referred for assessment and management of mental health problems, in an MSM Clinic in urban Cape Town, South Africa. Twenty-five men were screened using the MINI, AUDIT, DUDIT, and IPDE Screener. Depression, suicidality, as well as alcohol and drug use disorders were highly prevalent in this group (44, 56, 48, and 56 % respectively). The personality disorder screening was suggestive of a high prevalence of personality disorders. The high prevalence of neuropsychiatric disorders in this sample supports the idea that integrated mental health services are needed to address the complex needs of this population. Adequate input into the mental health needs of this population could reduce the potential for HIV acquisition and transmission, improve adherence to treatment and care, and ensure the provision a comprehensive health service for MSM.