American Journal of Public Health, Vol
91, Issue 1 31-37, Copyright © 2001 by American
Public Health Association
Prevalence of HIV, hepatitis B, and
in people with severe mental illness
SD Rosenberg, LA Goodman, FC Osher, MS
Swartz, SM Essock, MI
Butterfield, NT Constantine, GL Wolford
and MP Salyers
Department of Psychiatry, Dartmouth
Medical School, New Hampshire-Dartmouth Psychiatric Research
Center, Lebanon, NH, USA.
OBJECTIVES: This study assessed
seroprevalence rates of HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV), and
hepatitis C virus (Hepatitis C Virus) among individuals with
severe mental illness.
METHODS: Participants (n = 931)
were patients undergoing inpatient or outpatient treatment in
Connecticut, Maryland, New Hampshire, or North Carolina.
RESULTS: The prevalence of HIV infection in this sample (3.1%) was
approximately 8 times the estimated US population rate but
lower than rates reported in previous studies of people with severe
mental illness. Prevalence rates of HBV (23.4%) and Hepatitis C Virus
(19.6%) were approximately 5 and 11 times the overall
estimated population rates for these infections, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Elevated rates of HIV, HBV, and Hepatitis C Virus were
found. Of particular concern are the high rates of Hepatitis C Virus
infection, which are frequently undetected. Individuals with
Hepatitis C Virus infection commonly fail to receive appropriate treatment
to limit liver damage and unknowingly may be a source of infection