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Position Statement 38: Mental Health and HIV/AIDS now available

13 September 2018
 
 
 
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