5. Special Populations and Public Health Aspects

  1. John A. Joska3,
  2. Dan J. Stein4 and
  3. Igor Grant5
  1. Francine Cournos1,
  2. Karen McKinnon2,
  3. Veronica Pinho2 and
  4. Milton Wainberg2

Published Online: 31 JAN 2014

DOI: 10.1002/9781118339503.ch5

HIV and Psychiatry

HIV and Psychiatry

How to Cite

Cournos, F., McKinnon, K., Pinho, V. and Wainberg, M. (2014) Special Populations and Public Health Aspects, in HIV and Psychiatry (eds J. A. Joska, D. J. Stein and I. Grant), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118339503.ch5

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town, South Africa

  2. 4

    Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town, South Africa

  3. 5

    Department of Psychiatry, University of California, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, USA

  2. 2

    Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 31 JAN 2014
  2. Published Print: 11 MAR 2014

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118339541

Online ISBN: 9781118339503



  • acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS);
  • human immunodeficiency virus (HIV);
  • mental disorders;
  • MSM;
  • people who inject drugs (PWID);
  • public health;
  • severe mental illness (SMI);
  • sex workers;
  • special populations;
  • Sub-Saharan Africa


Special populations play a key role in the spread of infectious diseases that are transmitted by parenteral and/or sexual routes. This has certainly been true in the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic, where the initial spread of HIV began with concentrated epidemics around three key and overlapping populations: men who have sex with men (MSM), people who inject drugs (PWID) and sex workers. HIV is now a generalized epidemic in some parts of the world, most notably in Sub-Saharan Africa. People with severe mental illness (SMI) are a special population of particular interest to mental health providers as they are disproportionately affected by HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). One area that has received attention is HIV prevention and the treatment of opioid addiction amongst PWID. The availability of clean injecting equipment, including needles and syringes, has been a primary focus for reducing the acquisition and transmission of HIV infection amongst PWID.