Significant Link Seen Between Anxiety Disorders and the Risk of HIV

There is a new research finding that links mood and anxiety disorder in HIV risk among sexual minorities. Dr. Viviane Dias Lima of BC-CeF studies sexually risky behavior among the LGBT community.

The research determines the association between HIV risk behavior and anxiety disorder diagnoses.

The most prevalent disorder affecting most Canadians are mood and anxiety disorders. These disorders take three-quarters of all mental health disorders-related health care services, which amounts to more than half of the total costs spent on all mental health disorders.

The study was conducted using a cross-sectional population-based survey from the Canadian Community Health Survey in 2013 – 2014. The researcher developed a behavioral HIV risk score from the available data with the following five measures:

  • The use of a condom
  • Age of the first intercourse
  • Sexual history
  • Body count
  • Substance use in the past year

The survey result showed that 97% of the respondents were heterosexual and the rest were either bisexual, lesbian, or gay. There was a 12% prevalence of mood or anxiety disorder diagnosis.

The author Dr. Lima is the BC-CfE’s Senior Methodologist and scientist at the center. She is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at UBC. Together with her colleagues Dr. Bob Hogg, Kalysha Closson, Martin St-Jean, Kiffer Car, Travis Salway, and Thomas l. Patterson, call on healthcare providers as well as policymakers to consider prioritizing the integrated and holistic care that addresses connections between substance use, sexual risk, and anxiety disorder among the target population.

May the result of this study get the attention of policymakers and healthcare providers to provide support for the affected population.

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