Psychological Co-morbidities of HIV/AIDS

  • Christina Psaros
  • Jared Israel
  • Conall O’Cleirigh
  • C. Andres Bedoya
  • Steven A. Safren


Individuals with HIV/AIDS are disproportionately affected by mental health problems relative to the general population, including mood, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders. Psychological factors have been implicated in less effective disease management and advanced disease progression among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive individuals. Thus, it is critical that mental healthcare providers are aware of the intricate relationship between comorbid psychological disorders and the physical health of individuals living with HIV. To this end, this chapter will provide an overview of the epidemiology and pathophysiology of various Axis I disorders and HIV, including clinical considerations for assessment and treatment, and a review of existing evidence supporting the efficacy of psychotherapy interventions. When reviewing each of these disorders, particular care is taken to address practical considerations for assessment and treatment, as well as the broader nature of the relationship between physical symptoms associated with HIV/AIDS and various psychosocial concerns. The chapter concludes with a discussion of cultural considerations for the clinician working with HIV-positive individuals.


Human Immunodeficiency Virus Depressive Symptom Anxiety Disorder Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Generalize Anxiety Disorder 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



acquired immunodeficiency syndrome


antiretroviral drug


Beck Anxiety Inventory


Beck Anxiety Inventory-Fast Screens for Medical Settings


Beck Depression Inventory


cognitive behavioral therapy


Centers for Disease Control


Client Diagnostic Questionnaire


Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale


central nervous system


Current Sleep Quality Index


distal symmetrical polyneuropathy


highly active antiretroviral therapy


HIV Cost and Service Utilization Survey


hypothalamic pituitary axis


human immunodeficiency virus



Some of the time used to create this manuscripts has supported by the Harvard University Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), an NIH funded program (P30AI060354), which is supported by the following NIH Institutes and Centers: NIAID, NCI, NIMH, NIDA, NICHD, NHLBI, NCCAM (awarded to Dr. Christina Psaros) and by NIMH grant 1R01MH084757-01A1 (awarded to Dr. Steven A. Safren).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christina Psaros
    • 1
  • Jared Israel
    • 2
  • Conall O’Cleirigh
    • 2
    • 3
  • C. Andres Bedoya
    • 2
  • Steven A. Safren
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryMassachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Fenway Community HealthBostonUSA

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