Maximizing life's potentials in AIDS: A psychopharmacologic update

Mary Ann Adler Cohen, Jeffrey M. Jacobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Psychiatric factors play a major role in the AIDS pandemic. They have an impact on transmission, morbidity, coping, adherence, and quality of life and of death. Substance-related disorders are associated with HIV transmission through needle sharing, sexual transmission, exchange of sex for drugs, and perinatal transmission. Persons with AIDS have a high prevalence of substance-related disorders, mood disorders, dementia, mania, and delirium. Persons with AIDS require complex medications, including combination antiretroviral therapy and prophylaxis and treatment for opportunistic infections and cancers. Recognition and treatment of distressing symptoms can maximize life's potentials and enhance adherence with risk prevention and with care. We describe an integrated approach to the use of psychotropic medications in the care of persons with AIDS. With the new antiretroviral therapies available, psychotropic medications can be helpful in alleviating distressing symptoms, promoting less risk taking, and adhering to complex medical care. The intricacies and complexities of new medical and psychopharmacological issues are delineated in order to enable caregivers help persons with AIDS to maximize life's potentials. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-388
Number of pages14
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2000


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