STIs and blood borne viruses - Risk factors for individuals with mental illness Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • BACKGROUND: Individuals with mental illness have poorer sexual health compared to the general population and experience a number of barriers to accessing health care. This population demonstrates elevated rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and blood borne viruses (BBVs), as well as higher rates of associated risky behaviours. OBJECTIVE: To review factors associated with increased risk for STI/BBV infection among individuals with mental health problems, and to discuss the potential implications for general practice management. DISCUSSION: There are multiple factors associated with risk for STI/BBV infection among people with mental health problems. An awareness of relevant risk factors is necessary for providing a timely and comprehensive approach. Relevant strategies include sexual health and STI/BBV screening, education/counselling, diagnosis, treatment, skills training and appropriate referral. General practitioners play an important role in ensuring the sexual health needs of those with mental heath issues are adequately addressed.

publication date

  • July 1, 2008