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Antiretroviral therapy for HIV-infected patients with schizophrenia. Coordinated multidisciplinary management (7 cases)


, : Antiretroviral therapy for HIV-infected patients with schizophrenia. Coordinated multidisciplinary management (7 cases). Presse Medicale 34(6): 431-437

Schizophrenia might appear to be an obstacle to the initiation of and especially compliance with antiretroviral therapy for HIV-infected patients. The aims of this study were to describe the clinical, immunologic and virologic course after initiation of antiretroviral therapy in 7 HIV patients with schizophrenia (according to DSM-IV-R criteria), and to analyse the possibilities of an adequate antiretroviral therapy for those patients. Multidisciplinary management by specialists in infectious diseases, addiction-related disorders, treatment adherence and compliance, and psychiatrists, as well as social workers, home care agencies, and patient advocacy and assistance groups, was organized with coordinated medical-psychiatric follow-up at least once a month. The patients, 6 men and 1 woman, were aged from 26 to 48 years; schizophrenia had been diagnosed in 5 patients 6 months to 20 years before the HIV infection was discovered; diagnoses of both diseases were essentially simultaneous for the other 2. All patients took long-term neuroleptics for their schizophrenia. Two were active drug addicts who received drug substitution treatment. Before antiretroviral treatment began, 6 patients had advanced infection: stage C with peak CD4 cell counts ranging from 6 to 70/mm3; they began treatment with protease inhibitors between May 1996 and August 1997. The seventh patient was first seen during primary HIV infection in July 1998, and treatment began then. Response to antiretroviral treatment with protease inhibitors was slow for all patients, but viral load became undetectable for 6 of the 7, after 5 months to 4 years; 3 had opportunistic infections. Follow-up ended in January 2002: 5 patients still had undetectable viral loads,, with CD4 cell counts ranging from 45 to 1 000/mm3. One patient died from mixed terminal cirrhosis (alcohol abuse and hepatitis C); the viral load in another was only partially controlled (10 000 copies/ml), because of poor treatment adherence. Individuals with schizophrenia can respond well to antiretroviral treatment, although response may appear slow; they can adhere to complex treatment regimens as long as they receive well coordinated and sustained multidisciplinary support.

US$29.90

PMID: 15902873


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