This study examines the sexual networks and HIV risk of clients with severe mental illness in treatment in institutional and community care settings. Data were gathered through structured interviews with 401 clients at three community mental health centers and two state psychiatric hospitals. Results indicate that community clients are more likely than hospital patients to be currently sexually active and to engage in high-risk sexual behavior whereas hospitalized patients tend to have more transient sexual relationships with partners who also have a mental illness. These findings suggest that mental health treatment settings may be shaping the HIV epidemic among psychiatric patients because of the impact they have on the structure of clients' sexual networks.
- HIV/AIDS risk behavior
- Mental health treatment
- Patients with serious mental illness
- Sexual risk networks
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health