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