In its latest Position Statement
the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists is highlighting the interaction between mental health and HIV/AIDS.
Position Statement 38: Mental Health and HIV/AIDS
provides practical advice to clinicians caring for the mental and physical health of someone with HIV/AIDS.
Some of the key messages from the submission are:
- People living with HIV/AIDS have higher rates of mental illness than the general population, including anxiety and depression.
- People living with HIV/AIDS may also have associated neurocognitive disorders, such as HIV associated dementia.
- Psychiatrists should consider screening their patients for sexual and drug use risks during assessment, and HIV testing should be offered where indicated.
- Medical advances in HIV treatment have increased life expectancy and quality of life considerably for people living with HIV/AIDS.
- Some medications used to treat HIV can have side effects including anxiety, depression and other psychological symptoms.
- Some psychotropic medications can interact with HIV anti-retroviral medications and cause potentially severe interactions.
Read Position Statement 38: Mental health and HIV/AIDS