People with mental illness and people with HIV are both overrepresented in correctional institutions. In addition, people living with HIV are at a higher risk for mental disorders. The stress associated with living with a serious illness or condition, especially in a challenging environment, can affect a person’s mental health. It is important for people living with HIV to know that they have a higher chance of developing mood, anxiety, and cognitive disorders. HIV and related infections can also affect the brain and the rest of the nervous system. This may change how a person thinks and behaves. Also, some medications used to treat HIV may have side effects that affect a person’s mental health. Understanding how living with HIV can affect mental health and knowing what resources are available can make it easier for patients to manage their overall health and well-being.
• Describe how HIV/AIDS affects the brain and nervous system
• Identify the symptoms of HIV psychosis
• Discuss how antiretroviral therapy (ART) affect brain chemistry
Educational session made possible by a medical education grant from Gilead Sciences.