ArticlesMental Disorder as a Risk Factor for Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection in a Sample of VeteransHOFF, RANI A. PH.D.1; BEAM-GOULET, JOSEPH M.S.2; ROSENHECK, ROBERT A. M.D.1Author Information 1 Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, and Northeast Program Evaluation Center/182, Building 8, West Haven VA Medical Center, 950 Campbell Avenue, West Haven, CT 06516. 2 Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health. Send reprint requests to Dr. Hoff. The Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease: September 1997 - Volume 185 - Issue 9 - p 556-560 Buy Abstract People who suffer from mental disorders are at increased risk for becoming infected with HIV. There have been no studies that show whether particular psychiatric disorders present an increased risk for HIV infection in samples of nonpatients. This article uses data from the 1992 National Survey of Veterans to determine if veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or with other mental or emotional problems, are at increased risk for HIV infection. The results indicate that the combination of PTSD and substance abuse increased the risk of HIV infection by almost 12 times over those without either. This is evidence of a particular psychiatric disorder increasing risk for HIV. Although cross-sectional, these data allow some conjecture about the timing of the onset of PTSD in relation to HIV infection. These results present powerful evidence that mentally ill persons such as those with PTSD, who may be underserved for health services including AIDS prevention efforts, should be targeted as an at-risk group. © Williams & Wilkins 1997. All Rights Reserved.