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Mental health and HIV/AIDS: the need for an integrated response.

Authors
  • Remien, Robert H1
  • Stirratt, Michael J2
  • Nguyen, Nadia1
  • Robbins, Reuben N1
  • Pala, Andrea N1
  • Mellins, Claude A1
  • 1 HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, NY State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University, New York, New York.
  • 2 NIMH Division of AIDS Research, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
AIDS (London, England)
Publication Date
Jul 15, 2019
Volume
33
Issue
9
Pages
1411–1420
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000002227
PMID: 30950883
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

: Tremendous biomedical advancements in HIV prevention and treatment have led to aspirational efforts to end the HIV epidemic. However, this goal will not be achieved without addressing the significant mental health and substance use problems among people living with HIV (PLWH) and people vulnerable to acquiring HIV. These problems exacerbate the many social and economic barriers to accessing adequate and sustained healthcare, and are among the most challenging barriers to achieving the end of the HIV epidemic. Rates of mental health problems are higher among both people vulnerable to acquiring HIV and PLWH, compared with the general population. Mental health impairments increase risk for HIV acquisition and for negative health outcomes among PLWH at each step in the HIV care continuum. We have the necessary screening tools and efficacious treatments to treat mental health problems among people living with and at risk for HIV. However, we need to prioritize mental health treatment with appropriate resources to address the current mental health screening and treatment gaps. Integration of mental health screening and care into all HIV testing and treatment settings would not only strengthen HIV prevention and care outcomes, but it would additionally improve global access to mental healthcare.

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