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Mental health problems are linked to HIV/AIDS in a complex and often not fully understood manner. In some cases, mental health problems can pose an additional risk in becoming infected with the HIV virus. In other cases, mental health difficulties follow from infection. Good mental health care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS is therefore key to both improving the lives of people living with HIV and preventing further spread of the virus. Yet, the interconnections between these two fields are often not recognized or acted upon by medical professionals, social workers and carers or people living with HIV (PLHIV) themselves.
GIP has been involved in this theme since 2005 when it began its innovative Mental Health and HIV/AIDS (MAIDS) program in the Caucasus, Central Asia and Southeastern Europe. During the ensuing period Expert Centers focusing on the relations between mental health difficulties and HIV/AIDS were established in 9 countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Serbia and Tajikistan).
The centers conduct research and training and engage in advocacy and awareness-building around this theme to increase understanding among health professionals and others and to decrease social stigma.
Visit web-sites of the Expert Centers on MH and HIV/AIDS:
Expert Center on MH and HIV/AIDS in Tajikistan
Expert Center on MH and HIV/AIDS in Azerbaijan
Expert Center on MH and HIV/AIDS in Kazakhstan
Expert Center on MH and HIV/AIDS in Serbia and Parent Organization IAN
Resource Center on MH and HIV/AIDS in Bulgaria