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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”


Mentally Ill Patients at Risk for HIV, TB, and Hepatitis


New research presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine in Palm Springs, California, indicates that patients in mental hospitals are at greater risk for HIV, tuberculosis (TB), and hepatitis compared to individuals in the general population. Scientists studied more than 650 men and women admitted to psychiatric facilities between 1997 and 1999. The researchers discovered that the patients were four to five times more likely to be infected with hepatitis B and 12 times as likely to have hepatitis C, while 20 percent tested positive for TB, and the estimated rate of HIV infection was 3 percent. Lead author Dr. W.F. Pirl of Harvard Medical School and the Eric Lindemann Mental Health Center in Boston, said the high infection rates were surprising, but better testing and treatment could help.

Source: Reuters Health Information Services (11/17/00); Mozes, Alan; Courtesy of the CDC National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention.