Psychiatric symptoms among an HIV positive Urban Population in Lusaka, Zambia

  • NM Besa
  • R Paul
  • L Hachaambwa


Objectives: The aim of the study was to determine how frequently psychiatric symptoms in an HIV positive adult population occur, as well as to determine social, demographic and clinical factors that are associated with the presence of these symptoms.
Design: Through a cross sectional study, one hundred and eighty five HIV positive adults attending the HIV clinic, at Chilenje clinic in Lusaka, Zambia were recruited.
Measures: Psychiatric symptoms were assessed using The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI)
Results: Overall, 17.3% of the participants had a disorder. Alcohol dependence/abuse, depression, any anxiety disorder and mania/hypomania were accounted for by 9.2% (n=17), 7% (n=13), 6.5% (n=12) and 2.7% (n=5) respectively. Psychotic symptoms were present in 9.2% (n=17). Co-morbidity was present in 13(7.0%) accounted for mostly by depression with an anxiety disorder.
Conclusion: The rate of psychiatric symptoms in HIV positive patients in this population is high. Most of them go unnoticed and therefore untreated. Therefore, the fight against this pandemic will be strengthened by the integration of mental health care into the routine management of HIV infected patients.


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eISSN: 0047-651X
print ISSN: 0047-651X