As if having an HIV infection was not stressful enough in itself, the latest research suggests that the co-occurrence of various psychiatric disorders is 50% or more. These problems range from depression to dementia type disorders.
The reason it's essential to see a specialist with the right training in this particular area is not only are there many medical disorders that occur secondary to HIV, as well as psychiatric illnesses, there is also the stigma of HIV/AIDS, the fact the disorder occurs in higher rates in groups already prone to a hard time i.e. marginalized groups such as prisoners, homosexual and other minority populations. Then there is the psychiatric side effects of medical drugs, and possible interactions between psychiatric and AIDS treatments.
The emotional problems that accompany HIV are important to treat vigorously because they are associated with decreased quality of life, poorer adherence to medical care for HIV, faster disease progression, and as a result of all of these, inevitably, increased mortality.
The correct psychological and psychiatric treatment is now being recognized as vital in improving adherence to vital self-care, lowering high risk acts, improved medical attention, and proper treatment with combination antiretroviral therapy (CART). All of these are much harder to achieve those with co-existing psychological problems. As a result AIDS psychiatry is now emerging as an important specialty within the wider realm of psychosomatic medicine. Your specialist should have a background in this area and ours at Clinical Partners do. This should improve the confidence of anyone coming forward for help in this complex area, that their needs will be addressed seriously.
Clinical Partners have a team of Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Psychotherapists and Counsellors who are experienced in this area and will be able to offer full support and advice for you, your partner and your family.
We also can support you if you feel that you are suffering from related depression or other issues connected with alcohol or substance abuse.
By calling our Admissions Counsellor on 0203 326 9160 you will be able to talk in confidence about your situation and we can recommend an HIV clinic specialist to assist you.