Psychosocial profile of HIV-infected adolescents in a Southern US urban cohort.
ABSTRACT We undertook a retrospective medical chart review of HIV-infected adolescents referred to a Southern US urban comprehensive adolescent HIV clinic between 1992 and 2003 to describe the psychosocial profile of adolescents infected with HIV via high-risk behaviours.Ninety-one adolescents (59 females, 32 males, 95% African-American, median age 17 years) were identified. Common reasons for initial HIV testing included routine prenatal screening (20%), clinical symptoms suggestive of HIV (20%), and recognized risk-related behaviours (20%). Findings included a history of unstable housing in the previous year (27%), running away (29%), knowing someone with HIV (36%), parental substance abuse (reported by youth, 46%), parental abandonment/neglect (30%), high substance use rates (marijuana 33%, tobacco 27%), current/prior STDs (60%), and involvement with the juvenile justice system or incarceration (41%). Sexual abuse/assault was reported by 41%. Previous depression was reported in 15% with approximately half reporting prior hospitalization. An additional 12% of the cohort had current clinical depressive symptoms. We conclude that infections with HIV via high-risk behaviours during adolescence occur in youth with multiple psychosocial stressors. Targeted prevention efforts to reduce these underlying stressors may decrease new adolescent infection. HIV-infected youth are best served in a comprehensive care environment with immediate access to medical care, social work, and psychology/psychiatry services.
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ABSTRACT: This paper is an examination of the extent to which adolescents in primary care indicated behavioral risk for human immunodeficiency virus infection, and the degree to which their clinic records reflected either awareness of such conditions or interventions for them. Levels of risk were assigned to the youths based on known risk factors in adult populations and arbitrarily selected natural breaks in the frequency of sexual behaviors. Of the sample, 3% were at high risk for human immunodeficiency virus infection because the adolescents engaged in prostitution, injectable drug use, male homosexual behavior, or had a sexually transmitted disease associated with genital ulcers or sores; 16% were at moderate risk because the youths had more than six sexual partners in the year preceding the interview or had nonulcerative forms of sexually transmitted disease; and the remainder were at low risk. Fewer than half of the youths at risk for human immunodeficiency virus infection sought or received help for any of their problem behaviors, while virtually all sought and received help for sexually transmitted diseases. Because a high proportion of the youths engaging in risky behaviors had sexually transmitted diseases, the most promising approach for prevention of human immunodeficiency disease infection is through health clinics that treat sexually transmitted diseases. These clinics could screen the youths for associated behavioral risk factors, and then offer preventive or interventive services.Pediatrics 04/1990; 85(3):303-10. · 5.12 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Worldwide, more than one million children are infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and in the United States it has become the sixth leading cause of death among 15-24-year-olds. Despite the trend of increasing rates of infection, advances in therapies have led to survival past 5 years of age for more than 65% of infected children. This global health threat will therefore continue to have a significant impact on child and adolescent psychiatry and psychology. This paper reviews current studies and reports on the consequences of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic in the psychiatric care and development of children and adolescents infected by HIV. From a search of all the English-language-based literature on pediatric AIDS, 140 studies are reviewed which address HIV infection and its psychological and social implications. Several topics of mental health significance are examined: (1) the epidemiology of HIV, (2) neurocognitive development among those infected, (3) psychological impact of infection, and (4) the family and social context of HIV. The transition of HIV from an acute, lethal disease to a subacute, chronic disease has enormous implications for the neurocognitive and psychosocial development of children and families. As children and adolescents infected with HIV continue to live longer, normal developmental milestones and educational needs will take on new significance. Many children will continue to be adversely impacted by non-HIV factors such as poverty, inadequate medical services, and a lack of social support. This review outlines recent developments that hold promise to effectively reduce the treatment burden on the infected, their families, and health care providers and to decrease the incidence of transmission to the uninfected.Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 02/2000; 41(1):81-96. · 5.42 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To investigate the associations between sexual abuse and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related attitudes and behaviors of adolescents with a psychiatric disorder. HIV-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors were examined by self-report assessment of adolescents admitted to a psychiatric hospital (N = 100). A subsample (n = 30) completed a role-playing exercise regarding HIV-preventive behavior that was scored for the degree of effective communication by raters blind to the subjects' abuse history. HIV-related risk behaviors were prevalent, including unprotected sexual intercourse (67%) and multiple partners (27%) among the sexually active (71% of the total). Also frequent were alcohol and drug use (25%) and sharing cutting instruments (22%) among those engaged in self-cutting behavior (62%). The 38% of the sample identified as having a history of sexual abuse indicated significantly poorer self-efficacy concerning condom use than their peers. Abused females scored significantly lower on the self-efficacy of condom use scale and reported significantly more frequent alcohol use than nonabused females (p = .003). A hierarchical multiple regression that controlled for consistency of condom use and tolerance of people with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome found that abuse history uniquely accounted for 16% of the variance in condom use self-efficacy. Analysis of the videotaped role-play found that abused adolescents were significantly less competent and had more difficulty in effective communication than their peers (p = .003). A history of sexual abuse is associated with impaired safe sexual decision-making and HIV-preventive communication skills, even in this already at-risk group. This study also underscores the importance of actively addressing these issues in the context of clinical care.Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 04/1997; 36(3):316-22. · 6.97 Impact Factor