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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

versão impressa ISSN 0034-7450


CASTILLO, Alejandro et al. Psychosocial and Clinical Characteristics and Psychiatric Co-morbidity Among Men and Women with HIV/AIDS under Medical Treatment at a Tertiary Health Care Center in Cali, Colombia. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2008, vol.37, n.1, pp.29-39. ISSN 0034-7450.

Introduction: Better understanding of psychosocial and health care needs of complex HIV/AIDS patients may facilitate disease management and virologic control. Objectives: To examine the behavioral, psychosocial, and co-morbid characteristics of HIV/AIDS illness in men and women being followed at a tertiary health care center in Colombia. Methods: A sample of HIV+ patients, 114 men and 29 women, was selected for review of clinical records. Results: Men were older (40 vs. 32 yrs.) and more likely to be employed (83 vs. 50%). Of those reporting sexual preference, 33% of men and 100% of women indicated being heterosexual. A higher percentage of men (34%) had CD4 count < 200 cells/mm2 when compared with the women (21%). More men than women had opportunistic infections (75 vs. 48%) and more men tended to be on complex medication regimens (68 vs. 48%). Viral load data was available for 53% of the cases, half of which had > 400 copies/ml. Only 40% of patients attended every scheduled 3-month visit. Less than one-quarter (22%) of the sample was diagnosed by a psychiatrist with a mental disorder and only a small proportion (one-fifth) had a psychiatric follow-up. Conclusions: Our study reveals several important findings among this sample of HIV patients attending a tertiary care private hospital in Cali: (1) the epidemic is rising among women, (2) undetected and under-treated psychiatric illness is highly prevalent, and (3) adherence to scheduled clinical visits is low among patients with a viral load >400 copies/ml. Thus, integrating psychosocial care with behavioral interventions to improve adherence is warranted to counteract these critical issues. An important weakness of this study was that clinical records did not include complete documentation of all variables.

Palavras-chave : HIV; acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; mental disorders; psychosomatic medicine; epidemiology.

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