Treatment of depression in individuals living with HIV/AIDS

Michelle M. Primeau, Victoria Avellaneda, Dominique Musselman, Gilbert St. Jean, Lourdes Illa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Depression is common in patients with HIV/AIDS, and can have an impact on quality of life, as well as various health outcomes. This study was designed to observe the efficacy of standard treatment of depression in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (+) individuals in an urban psychiatric clinic. Methods: This study consisted of a retrospective chart review of patients presenting for psychiatric services between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2010. A total of 211 charts were examined for factors including diagnosis given at initial visit, health status, sociodemographic factors and comorbid illnesses, as well as treatment plan prescribed; of these, 132 patients were determined to be depressed at the initial evaluation (Beck Depression Inventory (BDI> 13) and to return for at least one follow-up visit. Results: Of the 132 depressed patients, 48 (36.4%) reached remission (BDI <13) at some point at follow-up, and an additional 12 (50.7%) achieved response (decrease in BDI of 50%). Remission correlated with having disability income and having a viral load that was not detectable. Conclusions: Depression is common in HIV/AIDS, and is important to treat. Furthermore, individuals with depression and HIV/AIDS respond at rates similar to what is seen in other depressed populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-344
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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