Current Psychiatry Reports

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 104–110

Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders in Children and Adolescents with HIV/AIDS



We could not have predicted that HIV/AIDS would become one of our greatest public health challenges worldwide when the first cases were identified in the 1980s. More than 22 million people have died from the disease, and HIV is now the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States among 15- to 24-year-olds. At the beginning of this pandemic, most HIV infections of youth were acquired congenitally. Prenatal screening of pregnant women, early detection, and antiretroviral therapies have reduced mother-to-child transmission. Children born with HIV infections are now young adults living with HIV, while other adolescents are acquiring HIV primarily through high-risk behaviors. Associations between psychiatric symptoms and poor health outcomes have been recognized among adults. Few studies have examined these factors among youth. We review what is known about psychiatric syndromes among HIV-positive youth, and their treatments.


Adolescents HIV/AIDS Psychiatric disorders Adolescent HIV Mental health 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryThe University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine/The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, The Behavioral Health CenterPhiladelphiaUSA

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