Fact: mental health is important in treatment and prevention of HIV
World Aids Day 2015
Image: Huffington Post
According to UNAIDS statistics almost 7 million South Africans are living with HIV.
What many don’t realise is that mental health is important in preventing and treating HIV. Being diagnosed and living with a serious illness like HIV is likely to have an emotional impact on your daily life. People living with HIV/AIDS still fear social stigma and discrimination. This can lead to psychological distress and difficulties functioning at home, work, school or in the community serious mental illness.
HIV positive mothers are particularly vulnerable to mental illness during and after pregnancy.
Many pregnant women only find out about their HIV status at their first maternity care visit.
Mental illness affects how women use maternity, child health services and HIV services. • Mental illness has been found to have negative impacts on how HIV positive women adhere to their own and their child’s HIV treatment. • Mental health support and social support for HIV positive mothers is vital for the general health of women, their babies and families.
More facts on the correlation of maternal mental health and HIV: http://bit.ly/HIV_MMH