Welcome to the ACLP HIV/AIDS Psychiatry SIG, formerly known as the Organization of AIDS Psychiatry (OAP). The group was founded in 2003 to support mental health clinicians who provide care for persons with HIV and AIDS. (See below for more history of the SIG.) We invite psychiatrists and other mental health professionals who are working in the field of HIV psychiatry to join our SIG. We especially welcome clinicians in underserved areas to take advantage of the special assistance available in the form of PowerPoint presentations, literature references, and email notifications.
The ongoing form of communication among SIG members is our listserv, but we meet in person each year at the ACLP annual meeting in November. The next meeting of the ACLP HIV/AIDS Psychiatry SIG will be at the 2018 ACLP Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida (November 13-17, 2018).
2015 Hackett Award. Dr. Mary Ann Cohen, founder and chair of the HIV/AIDS Psychiatry SIG, was awarded the Academy’s highest honor, the Eleanor and Thomas P. Hackett Memorial Award, for her contributions to psychosomatic medicine, bioethics, and HIV/AIDS psychiatry. Dr. Cohen’s lecture was the first Hackett Award lecture devoted to the topic of HIV Psychiatry.
2014 Award of Special Recognition. This occasional, special award was presented to SIG member Philip Bialer, MD, FAPM, for his outstanding contributions to psychosomatic medicine fellowship training.
SLP Lifetime Scientific Achievement Award. In 2016, the Society for Liaison Psychiatry (co-founded in 1973 by HIV/AIDS Psychiatry SIG Chair Dr. Mary Ann Cohen) selected SIG member Dr. Andrew Roth for this award. In 2015, it selected member Dr. Maria Tiamson-Kassab, and in 2013, member Dr. Philip Bialer.
2013 Visiting Professorship Award. In November 2012, one of four ACLP Visiting Professorship awards was presented to SIG member Saba Syed, MD, FAPM, UCLA-Olive View. It was implemented in March 2013 by Visiting Professor Dr. Mary Ann Cohen for both HIV Psychiatry and Bioethics.
2011 Hackett Award. Founding HIV/AIDS Psychiatry SIG member William Breitbart, MD, FAPM, was awarded the Academy’s highest honor, the Eleanor and Thomas P. Hackett Memorial Award, for his outstanding work in psycho-oncology as well as in HIV/AIDS and end-of-life care.
2010 Dorfman Journal Paper Awards. We are proud that 3 out of the 4 Dorfman Journal Paper Awards were presented at the 2010 Annual Meeting for articles on AIDS psychiatry by our SIG members: Drs. Harold Goforth (Best Review Article), Oliver Freudenreich (Honorable Mention, Best Case Review Article), and William Breitbart (Best Original Research Article).
2009 Award of Special Recognition. HIV/AIDS Psychiatry SIG founder and chair, Mary Ann Cohen, MD, FAPM, was presented with this special award for her outstanding work in psychosomatic medicine and her tireless contributions to the fields of bioethics and HIV/AIDS psychiatry.
HIV/AIDS Psychiatry SIG members Drs. Oliver Freudenreich and Maria Ferrara developed the HIV Psychiatry Bibliography, a monograph published in August 2013 on the ACLP website in collaboration with the ACLP Research and Evidence-Based Practice (R&EBP) Committee.
Since release of the monograph, annotations on selected HIV Psychiatry-related journal articles—consider them “updates” to the Bibliography—are provided each quarter by members of our SIG, also in collaboration with the R&EBP Committee. We thank Dr. Freudenreich for his superb work on the annotations between 2013 and 2015. Beginning in 2016, SIG member Dr. John Grimaldi has taken over the quarterly annotations with input from Dr. Mary Ann Cohen. Dr. Grimaldi also provides article updates to the WPA Newsletter. See all the “HIV Psychiatry” annotations on the ACLP website at Quarterly Annotations on Journal Articles of Interest.
In February 2012, Pedro Ruiz, MD, president of the World Psychiatric Association and founding member of the ACLP HIV/AIDS Psychiatry SIG, informed us that the executive council of the WPA accepted the proposal that AIDS Psychiatry become a Section of the organization. The proposal was a result of his own dedication and work in HIV psychiatry and the efforts of SIG member Dr. Maria Ferrara, psychiatry resident at the University of Modena & Reggio Emilia in Italy, and Dr. Mary Ann Cohen. We believe that this new HIV/AIDS Psychiatry Section will help us to disseminate more information to underserved areas of the world where we have been unable to reach until now. In September 2014, the HIV/AIDS Psychiatry Section attained full status as a WPA Section.
Since becoming a Section of the WPA, members of the SIG have been attending the WPA Section Chairs Meetings and presenting on a regular basis throughout the world. SIG members, Drs. Cesar Alfonso, Kenn Ashley, Jordi Blanch, Maria Ferrara, and other members have represented our section. Drs. Kenn Ashley, Jordi Blanch, Mary Ann Cohen, Maria Ferrara, and Michelle Riba presented an intersectional symposium on HIV Psychiatry at the WPA World Congress of Psychiatry in Madrid, Spain, in September 2014.
The overall goals of the HIV/AIDS Psychiatry SIG are to:
The ongoing activities of the SIG to support the goals are to:
Until 2003, there was no organization of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals that was dedicated to the field of AIDS psychiatry. Nevertheless, many mental health clinicians devoted their professional lives to providing care for persons with HIV and AIDS. There was a need for a national and international organization to provide networking and support for, as well as a forum for, the exchange of ideas and collaborative research — an organization to share knowledge, to present work, and to collaborate in education and research. To address these issues, Dr. Mary Ann Cohen founded the Organization of AIDS Psychiatry (the forerunner of the HIV/AIDS Psychiatry SIG) in 2003 with 32 members. We now, in 2016, number 350 national and international members.
AIDS psychiatry is a paradigm of psychosomatic medicine, and in November 2004, the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry agreed to establish a new, special interest group of AIDS psychiatry. The ACLP Board of Directors, Executive Director, and administrative staff graciously welcomed us as the Organization of AIDS Psychiatry and provided us with a forum to meet and present our work at the ACLP annual meetings.
In November 2005, the SIG met for the first time and presented a symposium on AIDS psychiatry at the ACLP annual meeting in New Mexico. We’ve met at the ACLP annual meeting again each year since then and presented a symposium at the meeting every year except 2006.
In May 2008, we met and presented a symposium at the APA annual meeting in collaboration with the APA Office of HIV Psychiatry. That same month we also presented a symposium at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry. That same year, thanks to administrative support and resources from the Academy, the SIG had a listserv and a Web page (this page) and began to collaborate to develop a consensus base of current AIDS psychiatry practice.
Our name change in 2009 from the Organization of AIDS Psychiatry to the ACLP AIDS Psychiatry SIG, and now the ACLP HIV/AIDS Psychiatry SIG, recognizes the important role of the Academy in the growth and development of our SIG as well as our potential role in the ACLP. We encourage all of our members to join the ACLP.
In 2011, Kelly L. Cozza, MD, FAPM, accepted Dr. Cohen’s invitation to serve as co-chair of the SIG. In 2014, early career psychiatrist Josephine Mokonogho, MD, accepted our invitation to serve as rotating co-chair for a period of three years, through 2017. Overlapping Dr. Mokonogho is Kevin Donnelly, MD, a PM fellowship trainee, who in 2016 agreed to co-chair until 2019.
The primary means of communication among members of the HIV/AIDS Psychiatry SIG is via listserv. Only members of the SIG may post and receive group messages, as well as view the archived postings. To join our SIG, please see How to Join a SIG.
We encourage all of our SIG members to also become a member of the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry. For an AIDS psychiatrist or other mental health clinician, the Academy is an important resource since AIDS psychiatry is characterized by multimorbid severe and complex medical illnesses. The ACLP is a remarkable organization that meets once a year and no matter how beautiful the location, the meetings are so packed with outstanding faculty and inspiring courses, symposia, and workshops that the location pales by comparison and the meetings are too good to miss! It is an organization that serves as an inspiration, a chance for networking, and a place to learn. Membership has many other advantages including a subscription to the Academy’s journal, Psychosomatics. To join the ACLP, please see Join ACLP.