World Health Day 2017: The Theme Is 'Depression: Let's Talk'
When you test for HIV and get a positive result, your whole world can change in a moment. From who you tell, to picking out your healthcare providers, to controlling your immune system, and deciding how you want to deal with HIV in your life. As with any diagnosis, some side effects can occur simultaneously with your HIV infection.
Anxiety, depression and even suicide have figured as a cause of death in numerous of studies of people with HIV. According to a fifteen-year study of almost 90,000 people diagnosed with HIV in England and Wales, men living with HIV have an elevated rate of suicide, particularly in the first year after diagnosis with comparison against the general population.
While the researchers do not have data on social or behavioral factors that might explain the unusually high rate of suicide in the first year of an HIV diagnosis suggest that stigma, difficulties adapting to the diagnosis, inadequate mental health provision and a lack of support services contribute to suicide.
Thus, stigma and discrimination weaken the ability of individuals and communities to protect themselves from HIV and to stay healthy if they are living with HIV and even stay alive.