Theoretical concerns in applying the diagnosis of PTSD to persons with HIV and AIDS

Kagee A. (2008)


This article advances the argument that a diagnosis with HIV is inappropriately regarded as traumatic and that to a large extent the shift in diagnostic criteria from the DSM-III-R to the DSM-IV has played a role in the expanding definition of what might be regarded as a traumatic event. The notion of conceptual bracket creep is offered to account for the ever-increasing number of events that may qualify as traumatic. The article concludes that persons diagnosed with HIV require help in living with their condition, accessing treatment, and dealing with social stigma instead of being regarded as traumatised.

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