, Volume 47, Issue 6, pp 672-678
Date: 09 Apr 2011

Using Psychiatric Symptomatology to Assess Risk for HIV Infection in Individuals with Severe Mental Illness

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Abstract

In this study, we use the Colorado Symptom Index, a measure of psychiatric symptomatology, to identify vulnerable subgroups within the severely mentally ill population at elevated risk for HIV infection. Baseline data on 228 HIV positive and 281 HIV negative participants from two clinical trials were used. With years to HIV diagnosis as our primary endpoint, Kaplan–Meier estimates were calculated to find a CSI cut-off score, and a Cox proportional hazards model was used to obtain relative risks of infection for the two CSI categories created by the cut point. We found that a CSI score ≥ 30 was associated with a 47% increased risk for HIV infection (P < 0.01). While this study establishes the foundation for using CSI scores to identify a vulnerable subgroup within the SMI community, further studies should develop effective approaches to mitigate psychiatric symptomatology in order to examine the impact on HIV transmission risky behaviors.