University of the Witwatersrand

Project Description

Psycho-social care within HIV/AIDS services in South Africa

Project Abstract

With an estimate of 6 million HIV/AIDS infected people, South Africa is going through a severe health crisis. One in five people are infected, causing severe disruption of social structures. Research has shown that 45% of seropositives suffer from diagnosable mental disorders, having a profound impact on quality of life of both patient and his/her surroundings. A target group oriented approach helps mentally ill people to deal with their disease status, increasing the quality of life. Besides, mental health care decreases risky behaviour, which in turn reduces spread of the virus. Overall, the improvement of the mental health status will enhance productivity of the society.

A baseline analysis of what is currently happening in terms of mental health care for HIV/AIDS patients is needed to develop both complementary and renewing projects.

This qualitative research starts with a telephonic questionnaire, to be conducted from purposefully and snowball-sampled representatives of organizations providing mental health care to HIV/AIDS patients. These data will have a rather general character, and will therefore be intensified and triangulated by location visits during which into-depth interviews about the services will be conducted. This will result in an overview of the mental health services that are currently offered to HIV/AIDS patients in South Africa.

Surveys released for this project:
Psycho-social care within HIV/AIDS services 14
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