Studies show that people living with HIV may be more likely than the general population to develop mental disorders like depression or anxiety.
After being diagnosed as HIV-positive, you may feel:
- Conflicting emotions.
HIV can also directly impact the brain, causing impairments in memory and thinking.
How are HIV/AIDS and mental health related?
A mental disorder like depression may seem like an unavoidable reaction to being diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. But mental disorders are separate illnesses that can and should be treated, even when you are undergoing treatment for HIV/AIDS.
Currently available mental health treatments are generally well- tolerated and safe. But to avoid dangerous drug interactions, people with HIV/AIDS should talk with their health care provider about side effects, possible drug interactions, and other mental health treatment options.
What should I do if I have HIV/AIDS and a mental disorder?
If you are diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, tell your doctor about
- Your mental health history
- Any medications you are taking
- Any counseling you are receiving.
You can also ask your HIV doctor for a referral to a psychologist, psychiatrist, or social worker who has experience counseling and treating patients with HIV.
Dealing with an HIV/AIDS diagnosis can be overwhelming. But it is important to take care of your mental health as well. Treating mental health issues can help you manage your HIV/AIDS symptoms and improve your overall health.
For more information
The following webpages have more information about HIV and mental health: