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UK HIV support charity, PositivelyUK, has published a report calling for improved mental health services for those living with and affected by HIV.

state-of-mindsResearch, both online and in person, by Positively UK with number of fellow charities and supported by pharmaceutical firm Janssen showed that 75% of people with HIV had experienced mental ill health.

The ‘States of Mind’ report, launched at the PLHIV13 conference,  tackled the following issues:

  • How prevalent are mental health issues among PLWHIV?
  • How does mental wellbeing impact adherence to antiretroviral treatment?
  • How does discrimination experienced by PLWHIV impact their overall and mental wellbeing?
  • How are support providers addressing the issues around mental wellbeing and could improvements be made?

Six out of ten people interviewed said that they’d had a depressive episode in the last twelve months, and that two-thirds of those claimed that the episode had impacted on their lives in a “huge” way.

A graph, taken from the ‘States of Mind’ report, shows the wide range of mental health issues experienced by the 200 people with HIV interviewed:

Screenshot 2013-09-25 at 17.22.04

 

The ‘States of Mind’ report from Positively UK makes a number of recommendations to improve the mental health provision for people living with or affected by HIV in the United Kingdom:

  • Improvements must be made across all HIV services to tackle the on-going challenge of mental health issues in the HIV community
  • Increased dialogue between people living with HIV and healthcare professionals is needed to better understand the complex relationship between mental health and adherence to treatment
  • Closer coordination is needed between multidisciplinary support functions to help ensure a more effective allocation of service provision.

You can find out more about Positively UK’s ‘States of Mind’ report, and download you own copy, from the Positively UK website.

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