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Lack of mental health treatment available for HIV patients in the UK

Published on 06/03/20 at 11:31am
Photo by QuinceMedia

A cross-party group of MPs have said that those with HIV do not have access to adequate mental health treatment.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on HIV and AIDS met with patients living with HIV throughout the England. It was found that most HIV clinics have no-mental health professionals on staff, which the MPs said could reverse progress the country has made in ending HIV.

The MPs in this group found that local funding cuts meant that HIV sufferers had to rely on standard mental health services instead of ones that specialise in mental conditions common in people with the disease.

The APPG feel that if that if significant measures are not taken to address HIV sufferer’s mental health, the government won’t reach its 2030 goal of ending HIV transmission in the UK.

Currently, people with HIV are twice as likely to experience mental-health difficulties, and much of this is due to outdated stigma around the disease.

Stephen Doughty, who chairs the APPG on HIV and AIDS, said: “We heard some really disturbing evidence about patients who have committed suicide because of stigma and the traumatic process of navigating the benefits system while grappling with HIV and mental health issues.”

Starting in the 1970’s, many believed that HIV could be transmitted through general contact with someone suffering with the disease. The disease ravaged the gay community, and the historic stigma carries on until this day.

Conor Kavanagh

 

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