The goals of the proposed five year study are to 1) determine the prevalence of Psychiatric Disorders and Behavioral Health Outcomes, including emotional and behavioral functioning, HIV risk behaviors, and adherence to medication in perinatally HIV-infected adolescents; 2) examine the association between HIV infection and Psychiatric Disorders and Behavioral Health Outcomes by comparing perinatally HIV-infected youth to uninfected youth exposed to HIV in utero (seroreverters); and 3) identify risk and protective factors related to Behavioral Health Outcomes in both groups prospectively over 18 months. To achieve the study goals, we will conduct a five year, longitudinal study of 200 perinatally HIV-infected children and 150 seroreverters, ages 9 - 16 years, residing in NYC, one of the epicenters of the HIV epidemic among women and children in the US. The proposed sample of 700 participants will consist of the child (n = 350) and his/her primary caregiver (n = 350). Two sources of data will be used: 1) caregiver and child interviews and 2) medical chart abstraction (lymphocyte subsets, HIV RNA viral load, CDC diagnosis, antiretroviral treatment, medical service utilization). Each participant will be individually interviewed at baseline and 18-month follow-up. The interview, guided by Social Action Theory, will assess Psychiatric Disorders, Behavioral Health Outcomes, and a range of determinants of Behavioral Health Outcomes. These determinants consist of the individual's self-regulation processes and the larger social, family, individual, and environmental context. In the proposed study, we emphasize the importance of the child's HIV status and psychiatric functioning as well as family factors (communication, supervision, and involvement) in influencing Behavioral Health Outcomes. Participants will be recruited from four major medical centers in NYC, each of which provides comprehensive medical and mental health care to HIV-infected children and seroreverters. Reflecting the pediatric HIV epidemic, the patients in these clinics are primarily African American and Latino, living in poverty in inner-city communities, with high HIV seroprevalence and rates of drug use. The proposed study will inform us about the specific stressors and correlates of mental health problems, as well as HIV risk behavior in this population. Thus, it will be a critical step in the development of effective interventions for a population that is fast emerging as a new risk group both in the US and in developing countries with 'limited access to treatment and other resources.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Project (R01)
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Behavioral and Social Consequences of HIV/AIDS Study Section (BSCH)
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Forsyth, Andrew D
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New York State Psychiatric Institute
New York
United States
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