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Gerontology & Geriatrics Studies

Psychiatric Challenges of HIV/AIDS and the Added Problems of Aging with Seropositive Status

  • Open or Close James Paul Pandarakalam*

    Consultant psychiatrist, Northwest Boroughs Health Care NHS Foundation Trust Hollins Park Hospital & AFG Rehab Hospitals, UK

    *Corresponding author: James Paul Pandarakalam, Consultant psychiatrist, Northwest Boroughs Health Care NHS Foundation Trust Hollins Park Hospital & AFG Rehab Hospitals, Winnick Lane, Warrington, England, UK, Email:

Submission: February 23, 2018; Published: April 18, 2018

DOI: 10.31031/GGS.2018.03.000552

ISSN: 2578-0093
Volume3 Issue1


AIDS psychiatry is an underserved area of health system. Sero-positive patients are at risk of developing psychiatric symptoms and disorders seen in the general population and ones related to HIV. A significant proportion of HIV patients have, or develop, mental health problems and those often have impact on HIV/AIDS treatment and adherence negatively. The presence of psychiatric disorder carries higher risk of HIV infection and worsens the prognosis of patients once they are infected. Mental health professional can reduce incidents of high-risk sexual behaviour thereby prevent transmission of infection and early detection of HIV among psychiatric population. Psychiatric professionals can help treatment adherence to medical regimes, increase the longevity and quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS as well as controlling the spread of the disease. HIV sufferers are at higher risk of suicide soon after detection of the condition and at the later stage of AIDS. Highly active retroviral treatments have given the patients a new outlook towards life and their illness in developed countries, but the situation has not changed in under developed countries who are in the pre-HAART era. HIV positive patients are more vulnerable to drug interactions and psychiatric drugs can also interact with antiretroviral medications and the elderly patients are more vulnerable. HAART has increased the life span of patients and aging with HIV has become the norm. Aging is also associated with pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic deviations. HIV research has become the greatest successes story of modern medicine. There are common psychiatric issues for both the adult and the elderly patients and this paper discusses the psychiatric problems of HIV/ AIDS in general and in relation to psycho-geriatrics.

Keywords: HIV-AIDS-depression; AIDS; Dementia; Suicide; Psychotropics interactions; De-stigmatisation

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