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Mental Health Services Are 'Critical' To Comprehensive Approach For People Living With HIV

In this post in USAID’s “IMPACTblog,” Melissa Sharer, AIDSTAR-One senior care and support officer at John Snow, Inc., writes, “Although treatment is now widely available and [people living with HIV (PLHIV)] are able to live normal and active lives for many years, their mental health needs are often overlooked in care, treatment, and support programs.” Sharer highlights the success of programs in Vietnam and in Uganda that “combine mental health and existing health services.”

“Mental health services are … critical to a continuum-of-care approach for [PLHIV],” she writes, citing a recent meta-analysis looking at depression and adherence that “shows a consistent relationship between depression and HIV treatment non-adherence.” She concludes, “Clearly, addressing the mental health of PLHIV is central to a comprehensive approach that meets their holistic needs” (10/11).