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Does mental health matter for poor, HIV-infected women/mothers in the era of HAART?

Year: 2006
Working paper number: 166
Author: Brandt, René
Unit: ASRU
Abstract:

This paper reviews the available evidence regarding the relationship between HIV/AIDS, poverty, gender and mental health in order to address the question of whether mental health has any relevance for poor, HIV infected women and mothers in the era of HAART. Evidence points convincingly to the growing feminisation of the epidemic as well as the differential social and economic impact of HIV on women in general, and women in developing countries in particular. Further, HIV and poverty, both of which will be shown to be influenced by gender dynamics, independently contribute to elevated risk for poor mental health. It is argued that even with the advent of antiretroviral therapy, which has not been shown unequivocally to ameliorate poor psychological adjustment, mental health concerns remain relevant and significant for HIV infected women living in poverty. Further, this renders the relative neglect of mental health in the context of HIV/AIDS an important omission on the part of policymakers and service providers alike.


Publication file: wp166.pdf
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