Mental Health and HIV are inseparable - Landmark JIAS supplement published

19 Jul 2021

The Journal of the International AIDS Society (JIAS) has launched a special issue, entitled “Global Mental Health and HIV Prevention and Care”, at IAS 2021 – the 11th IAS Conference on HIV Science.

The content of the special issue has been guided by Guest Editors, Drs Robert H Remien (Columbia University), Melanie Amna Abas (King’s College London), Vikram Patel (Harvard Medical School) and Dixon Chibanda (University of Zimbabwe). The special issue is funded by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

People living with HIV continue to be at heightened risk and experience higher rates of common mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety and substance abuse, compared with the general population. However, the intersections of mental health and HIV have been woefully neglected across the globe and particularly in low-resource settings. This is despite the overwhelming majority of people living with HIV being in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Mental health for this vast number of people must be urgently improved to enable those living with or at risk of acquiring HIV to have enhanced quality of life and a better chance of a normal life expectancy, and for those living with HIV to reduce their risk of transmitting HIV to others.

The primary focus of the articles is studies carried out in LMIC settings with a high HIV burden and among key populations at greatest risk of HIV. The articles provide concrete examples of: (1) interventions and strategies to prevent HIV acquisition among people with mental health problems; (2) factors associated with common mental disorders among young people and adults living with HIV; (3) linkage between mental health problems and other psychosocial factors that increase HIV risk; and (4) interventions to improve mental health among people living with HIV.

Taken together, the collection of articles emphasizes the need for integrating mental healthcare within a full range of HIV programmes if we are to meet the UNAIDS goal of ending the HIV and AIDS epidemic by 2030.

Access the special issue here:


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