Mental Health Disorders Help Fuel HIV Transmission in Men. (Exacerbates Impact of Infection)

Article excerpt

BARCELONA, SPAIN -- Men who have sex with men are experiencing a "syndemic" of mental health disorders that are exacerbating the impact of HIV infection, according to the results of a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The syndemic--the name for two or more concurrent epidemics that interact synergistically--means that it may be possible to boost the efficacy of AIDS prevention efforts with programs that address other health issues among men who have sex with men, Ron Stall, Ph.D., said in presenting a poster at the 14th International AIDS Conference.

The mental health disorders that are part of the syndemic are depression, multiple drug use, partner violence, and childhood sexual abuse, said Dr. Stall, director of the behavior intervention research branch of the National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention in Atlanta.

The syndemic was identified by analyzing data collected in the Urban Men's Health Study a CDC program that samples men who have sex with men in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. …