The focus on HIV care is shifting from crisis to chronic, and therefore preventing, identifying and treating mental illness in people living with HIV has come to the fore.
Given that people living with HIV are twice as likely to suffer from mental illness compared to the general population, Anova Health Institute is supporting and strengthening basic mental health services by integrating them into everyday HIV care. Anova’s mental health and HIV programme takes a two-pronged approach.
- It trains doctors and nurses in mental health and HIV
- Focuses on the implementation of the training through ongoing mentoring
The training and mentoring programme aims to improve the detection and identification of mental disorders in HIV-positive clients. This allows for the clients to be referred to the primary healthcare doctor or the mental health clinic to manage their illness. Mental illness in clients on ART can affect adherence, meaning that there is a risk of drug resistance.