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Article   |    
Psychiatric Interventions for AIDS-Spectrum Disorders
Samuel W. Perry; John Markowitz
Psychiatric Services 1986; doi:
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Cornell University Medical College, 525 East 68th Street, New York, New York 10021

Cornell University Medical College

1986 American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Although the medical and psychosocial problems posed by acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) are unique, interventions to treat AIDS-related psychiatric disorders are currently available. The depression, delirium, and denial that occur in medically hospitalized patients with AIDS respond to standard psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacological approaches. Outpatients with AIDS or AIDS-related complex benefit from clarification, abreaction, and support if the therapist accepts the regression associated with the sick role, focuses initially on somatic rather than on psychological concerns, and overcomes unwarranted fears of contagion. Patients with AIDS-related dementia are helped considerably by early diagnosis and planning, and patients with antibodies to the AIDS virus require a psychoeducational approach that includes stress inoculation and problem-solving techniques. The authors describe the above interventions as well as common countertransference responses that impede their implementation.

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