Psychiatric morbidity in HIV-positive subjects: A study from India

Naresh Nebhinani, Surendra K. Mattoo, Ajay Wanchu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: To study the psychiatric morbidity in HIV-positive subjects. Design: Cross-sectional. Methods: The purposive sample included HIV-positive subjects not receiving antiretroviral therapy (HIV) (n=100). Rheumatoid arthritis (severe) subjects not receiving steroids or disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (RA) (n=40) were included as a comparison group. The 12-item General Health Questionnaire in Hindi (GHQ) was used to screen the psychiatric morbidity in both groups. In GHQ-positive cases, psychiatric diagnoses were made using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID). Results: The HIV group reported sexual contact as the commonest source of infection (58%) and had a lower age at onset (32.53 vs. 36.60 years, P=011), shorter duration of illness (12.95 vs. 83.37 months, P<001), lower GHQ score (28.3 vs. 30.15, P=043), similar Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) score (28.01 vs. 27.37, P=093) and lower psychiatric morbidity by both GHQ (score >2) (52% vs. 85%) and current SCID diagnoses (45% vs. 60%, P=021), as compared to the RA group. The HIV group also had a lower prevalence of psychiatric disorders (45% vs. 60%), mood disorders [24% vs. 52% including major depressive disorder (19% vs. 45%)] and anxiety disorders (1% vs. 2.5%), but a higher prevalence of substance use disorders (17% vs. 2.5%), adjustment disorders (7% vs. 5%) and psychotic disorders (1% vs. 0), as compared to the RA group. Conclusion: The high prevalence of psychiatric disorders, especially the mood disorders, in our HIV-positive subjects was generally similar to that reported from the rest of the world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-454
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2011


  • Depression
  • HIV
  • Psychiatric disorder
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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