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Title: Mental health co-morbidity in people living with HIV in South Africa

Authors: Monika dos Santos

Topic: Psychology


Objective: Mental health disorders are prevalent in HIV-infected populations, ranging from 43-56%, compared to about 30% of the general population.  This comorbidity may exacerbate the progression to HIV/AIDS by increasing viral load, reducing CD4 count, and reducing adherence to ARVs.  Despite the well established relationship between mental health and HIV/AIDS, and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation that attention to the psychosocial needs (which includes the prevention and treatment of mental health problems) of people with AIDS should be an integral part of HIV care, mental healthcare is yet to be integrated into primary care HIV treatment programmes in South Africa and other poor resource countries.  Design and procedure: The Rorschach inkblot test was conducted on a convenience sample of four South African HIV positive participants. Furthermore, a situational analysis was conducted from 2011-2013 to determine the context of mental health/HIV services in the Tshwane-Metsweding area, South Africa.  Results and recommendations: Outcomes suggest that there is a high rate of psychological comorditity in HIV infected individuals (such as mood disorders, personality disorders etc.), that there is a need to further develop and pilot test appropriate materials and models of delivery of mental healthcare within the parameters of affordability, acceptability and availability, and to advocate for the advancement of mental health and HIV policy integration.


    COMMENT - 1

  • SAHILA PEERBHAI (Viewer) 29th Jan 2015 - 3:54 PM
    Good study and very interesting.In my opinion this is very relevant in todays date. Mental health should be included in primary health. There should be steps taken by the country to include mental health in primary health.The study should include the mental health problems associated with hIV and AIDS so that the study is very informative.

  • COMMENT - 2

  • Onoruvie Gift Otegah (Viewer) 29th Jan 2015 - 4:52 PM
    Good job, but can you tell us more about how you were able to put you samples together?

  • COMMENT - 3

  • MONIKA DOS SANTOS (Author) 30th Jan 2015 - 6:13 PM
    Thank you for the good wishes. Retrospective patient data was obtained from the patients' information management system at all the FPD-supported HIV clinic in the Tshwane-Metsewding area for the situational analysis, as well as the interviewing of staff, inclusive of an analysis of the general health structure. For the Rorschach study - a convenience sample of 4 HIV positive participants was recited from my employment network, this sample is not intended to be representative in nature, but rather clinical case studies.

  • COMMENT - 4

  • REGINA EROMOMEN OWHE (Viewer) 2nd Feb 2015 - 2:59 PM
    Integration of HIV and Mental illness policy is a good idea ,continuity and persistence is the issue to be considered.In all it is a very good research