July 2, 201: By the Numbers

July 2, 201: By the Numbers



The percentage of U.S. service members infected with HIV who receive a mental health diagnosis six or more months after the infection was first detected, according to an article (PDF) in the May 2012 issue of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center's Medical Surveillance Monthly Report.

The article says the military initially began periodic screening for HIV among active and reserve component service members in 1986. By 2004, an established policy required all uniformed services personnel to be tested every two years.

Mental health problems are common in HIV-infected individuals, military or civilian.  The article explains that mental health issues have a direct impact on the management/prognosis of HIV infection, affecting patient compliance and health care expenditures.  When compared with their non-HIV-infected counterparts, the mental disorders most frequently diagnosed in HIV-infected service personnel were psychosis/schizophrenia, substance dependence, substance abuse, bipolar disorder, suicide ideation and depression.

The article notes that between January 1, 2000 through June 30, 2010, some 2,114 HIV infections were detected among active duty personnel.  According to the article: "Infection with HIV does not require medical separation from the military; however, HIV-infected service members are ineligible for deployment, appointment as officers and entry into certain career fields."