HIV Positive Population

1685 Words 7 Pages
he HIV positive population is very prone to depression. The rate of depression for HIV positive individuals is higher compared to the rate of depression in HIV negative individuals (?). In fact, according to one study, the rate of depression among people living with HIV can be around 20% to 48% in high-income countries and as high as 72% in resource-limited countries (6). The catalysts for the high depression prevalence in the HIV positive population are the many burdens that HIV brings for most people. The initial anxiety that HIV positive people feel when they first discover their status is a starting point for depression. When first finding out about testing positive for HIV, many people usually have thoughts and concerns about death and …show more content…
For developed countries, there is a divide between mental health and HIV. In Canada and the U.S, only around a quarter of depressed individuals with HIV actually receive care for depression (4). One issue that contributes to this lack of support is that not all depressed HIV patients are diagnosed as depressed. Multiple studies investigated the diagnosis of depression among HIV patients and found that less than half of the depressed patients in their samples were diagnosed as such by health care providers (20). This is problematic because the majority of depressed HIV people with need of care are simply getting overlooked. For the minority that are diagnosed with depression, the diagnosis may actually lead to more problems. There have been cases where HIV positive individuals diagnosed with depression were denied antiretroviral treatment (1). Some doctors fear that depression would impede in the adherence to the ART drug. This stigma against depression may cause some depressed HIV positive patients to avoid mental health care in fear that they would not receive ART treatment. Even with all these shortcomings in support, developed countries do understand the associations between depression and HIV. In developing countries however, there is virtually no support for HIV positive people with depression. Mental health is not given much attention in developing countries. Unlike developed countries, very little research is done in developing countries regarding depression and its association with HIV (5). Additional, mental health care in developing countries is very lacking. According to a table compiled by the World Health Organization, many low-income countries such as Burundi and Ethiopia only have one or two mental health professionals per 100000 people (2). The reason for this lack of emphasis in mental health care is a pervasive

Related Documents