HIV-risk behavior among outpatients at a state psychiatric hospital: Prevalence and risk modeling

Michael P. Carey, Kate B. Carey, Stephen A. Maisto, John R. Gleason, Christopher M. Gordon, Kristen K. Brewer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The purpose of this archival study was to determine the prevalence and correlates of HIV-related risk behavior among adults with a severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI). Hospital records at a public psychiatric hospital were reviewed to obtain data on demographic and psychiatric characteristics, sexual behavior, and substance use. Data were available from 889 (73%) of 1,214 eligible outpatients. Of these 889 patients, 49% were sexually active, 52% used alcohol, and 18% used street drugs during the past year. Eleven percent were at high risk for HIV infection: 7% reported having three or more sexual partners, 3% had been infected with a sexually transmitted disease (STD), 3% had traded sex, and fewer than 1% had shared injection equipment. HIV-risk status was modeled with logistic regression using diagnosis, type of residence, drug and alcohol use, and demographic variables; five- and six-predictor models were derived for two HIV-risk indicators. A bootstrap simulation supported the reliability of each model. We concluded that approximately half of the adults living with a SPMI are sexually active, and a minority engages in behaviors that increase risk of HIV infection. Routine screening for HIV risk in psychiatric settings can identify patients who may benefit from risk-reduction programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-406
Number of pages18
JournalBehavior Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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