Report Highlights Need to Educate Women With SMI About Risks of HIV, Other STDs

As people around the world stand in solidarity to recognize the millions living with HIV/AIDS today and the millions of lives lost to HIV/AIDS thisWorld AIDS Day, areport inPsychiatric Services highlights the need to educate women with serious mental illness (SMI) about the risks of the disease.“Women with serious mental illness (for example, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder) are eight times more likely than women in the general population to contract STDs,” wrote Joseph McEvoy, M.D., of the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta Uni versity and colleagues. These women may also “have limited access to health education and support (for example, safe housing and companionship, access to condoms, and testing for and treatment of STDs) and engage in risky behaviors (for example, multiple partners and unprotected sex) with greater frequency compared with women in the general population.”To compare women ’s understanding of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and human papillomavirus (HPV), McEvoy and colleagues asked 89 women with SMI receiving outpatient care at a public mental health center in Augusta, Ga., to complete HIV and HPV questionnaires. The responses of women with SMI were then compare d with those of women in the general population (357 responded to an HIV questionnaire; 413 to an HPV questionnaire).Women with SMI on average answered 64% of the answers correct on the HIV Knowledge Questi...
Source: Psychiatr News - Category: Psychiatry Tags: HIV/AIDS HPV Psychiatric Services serious mental illness sexually transmitted diseases STDs women Source Type: research

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