JSI RESOURCES: Journal article

Integrating Mental Health and HIV Services in Zimbabwean Communities: A Nurse and Community-led Approach to Reach the Most Vulnerable

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Alcohol use and depression negatively impact adherence, retention in care, and HIV progression, and people living with HIV (PLWH) have disproportionally higher depression rates. In developing countries, more than 76% of people with mental health issues, receive no treatment. This team hypothesized that stepped-care mental health/HIV integration provided by multiple service professionals in Zimbabwe would be acceptable and feasible. Screenings were done by nurses, community health workers and traditional medicine practitioners in nine communities.

Results indicate that integrating mental health and HIV services is feasible that integration can effectively expand availability of mental health services for PLWH. A standard operating procedure on the stepped-care approach for mental health and HIV integration that resulted from this pilot study has been share with the MOHCC, which is seeking funding to scale-up the program nationwide.

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