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‘Psychiatrists, patients should recommend an HIV test to take’

‘Psychiatrists, patients should recommend an HIV test to take’

Photo: Hollandse Hoogte

Individuals who suffer from major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or other mental illness have fifteen times more likely to get infected with the HIV virus. Nevertheless, let this group of people is not more frequent testing.

This is evident from American research that was conducted by UC San Francisco. “People with a serious mental illness set is more likely to be exposed to less safe behaviour, which could potentially lead to an HIV infection,” says researcher Christina Mangurian.

“This is going to include unsafe sex with partners who are HIV-positive or who do not have testing, and the injecting of drugs.”

The researchers looked at for the study, the medical records of 56.895 residents of California. These people used one or more types of medication for the treatment of a mental illness.

Of this group, who, by their conduct, therefore, more at risk of getting infected, had 6.7 percent a HIV test. This is true for 5.2 percent of the general population from California.

Noticeable difference

The age of the research group ranged from 18 to 67, of which 42 percent is over the age of 48, is in the research that is published in the scientific journal Psychiatric Services.

There was a striking difference in the age group: 7.9 percent of the persons under the 27 had testing, in comparison with 5,1 percent of the persons in the age group 48 to 67.

It further showed that more women were testing: 7.7 percent compared with 5.5 percent in the male part of the researched group. 10.8 percent of the Afro-American research group showed itself to test, what’s true for six percent of the whites, and 2.7 percent of the Asians.

Earlier research showed that people who suffer from a mental illness, on average, 25 years earlier death than a healthy person, ” says Mangurian. “This is mainly due to cardiovascular diseases. The risk is larger due to the medication, because the risk for obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure increase. But also HIV and other infectious diseases can cause a premature death.”

According to the researchers, the survey’s results point out that the psychiatrists from the patients they should be encourage to have an annual HIV test you on it. “So HIV in the early stages to be discovered,” says Mangurian.

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