HIV/AIDS and Mental: The Interaction in Sub-Saharan Africa
Washington and Lee University, Shepherd Poverty Program
HIV infections -- Treatment
HIV infections -- Psychological aspects
Mental health policy
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Capstone; [FULL-TEXT FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE]Emily Leary is a member of the Class of 2012 of Washington and Lee University.In the battle against HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, disparity in mental health care plays a key part in stopping the spread of the deadly disease. Currently it is believed over 50 percent of persons living with HIV/AIDS have a mental illness. Due to increases in availability in life-prolonging medicine, more people than ever are alive with HIV/AIDS in the sub-Sahara, further increasing the mental health caseload of the region. This creates social outcomes beyond life expectancy in parenting capability and child outcomes, work productivity and economic development, as well as in the public health sector. Interventions must focus on increasing mental health support groups, incentivizing mental health workers to work in the sub-Sahara, and encouraging disclosure and cultural education concerning gender inequality and country-biased stigmas in HIV/AIDS contraction and spread. These must be performed in combination with pre-existing antiretroviral therapy. HIV/AIDS will be most efficiently ameliorated when treated in combination with mental health therapy.