Date of Conferral





Public Health


Dr. Richard Jimenez


Research on rates of HIV testing among individuals diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder (BPD) is limited, while HIV infection continues to rise among BPD individuals. The problem is that BPD individuals are at high risk for HIV infection due to non-adherence to treatment for bipolar disorder and manic episodes that can lead to high-risk behaviors. The goal of the study was to examine the association between selected demographic variables, having a bipolar diagnosis, engaging in high-risk behaviors, inability to afford treatment for bipolar disorder, non-adherence to treatment for bipolar disorder, and substance abuse, and their relationship to obtaining an HIV test (the dependent variable) for individuals with BPD. The epidemiologic triangle model served as the theoretical model to assist with interpreting findings. Data collected from 383 BPD diagnosed individuals from the 2007 National Health Interview Study were analyzed using binary logistic regression, chi-square, and multiple logistic regression methods. The results indicated that all 5 behavioral independent variables were significantly associated (p=.000) with obtaining an HIV test. Significant associations were also found for demographic variables (race, gender, and homelessness) as confounding factors that influenced HIV testing among BPD individuals. Implications for positive social change are increased education on the risks of HIV infection and the need for appropriate HIV testing among BPD diagnosed individuals in an effort to protect the health and welfare of this vulnerable population.