The integration of mental health interventions into HIV prevention and treatment platforms can reduce the opportunity costs of care and improve treatment outcomes, argues a new Policy Forum article published in this week's PLOS Medicine. Syvia Kaaya from the School of Medicine at the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and her international colleagues say that effective interventions exist for recognition and treatment of co-morbid mental disorders and can be implemented successfully by trained non- specialized providers in HIV care.
The authors say that interventions delivered by "task-sharing" would require "supportive supervision, monitoring, and feedback to inform quality improvement in comprehensive HIV/AIDS services providing mental health care" and that "multidisciplinary collaboration, coordination, and communication on common concerns are imperative for HIV services that integrate mental health care."
"Clinical depression, alcohol abuse, and HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) are prevalent in people living with HIV and have negative consequences for HIV treatment outcomes," say the authors.
The five articles providing a global perspective on integrating mental health will be published weekly in PLOS Medicine beginning 30 April 2013.
Explore further: Integrating mental health care: New series
Kaaya S, Eustache E, Lapidos-Salaiz I, Musisi S, Psaros C, et al. (2013) Grand Challenges: Improving HIV Treatment Outcomes by Integrating Interventions for Co-Morbid Mental Illness. PLoS Med 10(5): e1001447.doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001447