November 2016 \ News \ MIND AND BODY
HIV/AIDS - The Great Magnifier of Maladies - is Entirely Preventable

Many persons throughout the world do not believe that there is still a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pandemic and that the epidemics of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and HIV stigma still exist. As we will see,

By Mary Ann Adler Cohen, MD

Negative Aspects of HIV as Magnifier

• Health care disparities

• Stigma and Discrimination

•  ageism

• misogyny

• racism

• addictophobia

• homophobia

• mental illness stigma

• AIDSism

• Avoidance of getting tested

• Avoidance of access to care

• Treatment refusal

• Many medical and psychiatric illnesses occur in persons with HIV

• HIV occurs with much higher frequency in persons with psychiatric illness

• Non-disclosure of HIV infection for fear of rejection or ostracism

• Criminalization of HIV, of risk behaviors, and of persons at potential risk

Ironically, as a consequence of the concerted efforts of advocacy and activism on the part of gay men with HIV and AIDS and some of their clinicians, there are positive aspects of HIV as The Great Magnifier of Maladies.

—Mary Ann Adler Cohen, MD is the President, WPA Section on HIV/AIDS Psychiatry, World Psychiatric Association