This article reviews the scientific literature regarding mental health services for poor HIV-infected women in sub-Saharan Africa and argues that they should constitute part of the healthcare agenda for these women. Key evidence points to the growing feminization of the HIV epidemic, as well as the differential social and economic impact of HIV on women. Further, HIV and poverty, both disproportionately affecting women, contribute independently and cumulatively to the risk for poor mental health. The limited empirical evidence regarding the mental health of this population is discussed. Multi-level psychosocial services, integrated within general health provision, are required to ensure long-term psychological benefits for HIV-infected women in the region.
Keywords: mental health; HIV/AIDS; women; poverty; sub-Saharan Africa; services
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