HIV-Positive People With Depression More Likely To Follow Treatment Regimens When Taking SSRIs, Study Finds
HIV-positive people with clinical depression who take the common antidepressants selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are more likely to follow their treatment regimens, according to a study published in a recent online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, HealthDay News/Washington Post reports.
For the study, Michael Horberg -- director of HIV/AIDS for Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Calif. -- and colleagues analyzed the mental health, disease progression and treatment data for nearly 3,400 HIV-positive people nationwide between 2000 and 2003. All of the participants recently had started highly active antiretroviral therapy, according to the study.
The researchers found that 42% of the participants had depression during the 12-month study period. Participants who had depression were less likely to follow their treatment regimens and had worse viral responses than participants who were not depressed, according to the study. The study found that when the participants with depression took SSRIs -- such as Celexa, Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft -- they had the same health outcomes as those who were not depressed.
"The take-home point of this study is that depression carries a worse prognosis for HAART" in HIV-positive people, Horberg said, adding that "SSRIs can reverse" the prognosis and "improve outcomes" for HIV-positive people with the condition. "HIV and depression often go hand in hand," Horberg added, noting that HIV-positive people should be screened for depression regularly and that depression should be treated in HIV-positive people on HAART (HealthDay News/Washington Post, 1/4).
An abstract of the study is available online.