World AIDS Day. It is that time of year again when attention focuses on the response to HIV, looking back at progress made and looking forward to the opportunities and challenges ahead. Much of the attention this year is positive, highlighting the unique opportunities before us. The UNAIDS annual report puts forward the lofty, but … Continue reading “World AIDS Day 2011: Looking at a Year of Change”
Andrew Alyao Ocero is the Director of Clinical Services on JSI’s Northern Uganda Malaria AIDS and Tuberculosis (NUMAT) Program. In this blog, Dr. Ocero calls Rome a theatrical backdrop to the IAS 2011 conference’s grand three day performance, where findings of landmark clinical trials were put on show, studies were debated, and challenges and innovations were hashed out. He and fellow participating NUMAT staff noted the clear message that implementation science needs to become part and parcel of strategies aimed at strengthening health service delivery, took away a greater appreciation of the ways stronger referral mechanisms and more comprehensive MCH and FP services can attract more HIV clients to use services, and were given pause by two papers presented at the conference which put a caveat on assumptions about service integration as a panacea for improved HIV care.
Melissa Sharer writes about two service models in Vietnam and Uganda — one integrating HIV into mental health services, the other integrating mental health into HIV services. What did we learn when visiting both these sites a world away? People living with HIV (PLHIV) benefit from services that recognize how mental health and physical well-being work together to improve quality of life. Depression and anxiety are just as common among people living with HIV as those without. And when service providers are armed with skills in both mental health and HIV, they can offer holistic, much-needed support to PLHIV.
There is still something missing in the monitoring of TB/HIV activities that would be worth collecting. TB and both ART and pre-ART patients are currently being assessed in cohorts and their outcome measured according to standardized categories. However, little is known about the outcome of co-infected individuals, since their details get mixed with the overall cohort they belong to.