The management of trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder in HIV-infected individuals
AbstractWomen are disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic and also carry a higher burden of early childhood trauma, other life traumas (e.g. rape and partner violence) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).1,2 Yet PTSD and other common psychiatric disorders (e.g. depression, alcohol abuse) are commonly under-detected in HIV care settings. For many HIV-infected individuals in South Africa, HIV clinical care is the primary point at which mental illness can be identified and an intervention can be administered.3 When one considers the high prevalence of trauma and PTSD in infected patients, and its potential effects on antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence, disease progression and quality of life, it is clear that correctly identifying and treating these conditions can significantly contribute to optimal patient care.
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