The Connection between HIV and Mental Health in women!


The Connection between HIV and Mental Health in women!

The Connection between HIV and Mental Health in women!
Hello, my dear ladies! We are back again with yet another very informative article for you all. Today we shall talk about the connection between HIV and Mental Health in women. But before we do that we shall have a quick look at what is HIV and why is mental health important.

“HIV does not make people dangerous to know, so you can shake their hands and give them a hug: Heaven knows they need it.” – Princess Diana

What is HIV?

HIV is the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. As the name suggests it is a virus that infects human cells. HIV affects the immune system, especially T-cells or CD4 cells that fight infection. Simply put, the virus destroys T-cells so that the immune system of a person with untreated HIV cannot fight off infections.

How does HIV spread?

HIV is or can be spread through the below- mentioned body fluids:

  • ·         Blood
  • ·         Pre-seminal fluid (pre-cum)
  • ·         Sperm
  • ·         Breast Milk
  • ·         Vaginal fluid
  • ·         Anal mucus

If you have sex with an HIV-positive person the virus can enter your system with small tears in the vagina, anus, penis or - rarely - in your mouth. And Open sores caused by sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as herpes and syphilis can also make it easier for HIV to enter one's system.

If you are a person taking antiretroviral drugs, HIV can be spread if your blood comes in contact with another person's blood through sharing needles. HIV can be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy or through breast milk. In rare cases, health workers have come in contact with body fluids and become infected. Successful testing has made HIV infection by blood transfusion or organ donation extremely rare

HIV cannot spread through:

  • ·         Saliva
  • ·         Clean
  • ·         Sewage
  • ·         Nose fluid
  • ·         Tears
  • ·         Urine

“One small crack does not mean that you are broken, it means that you were put to the test and you didn’t fall apart.” — Linda Poindexter

What is Mental Health?

Mental health includes one's emotional, mental, and social well-being. It affects the way one thinks, feels, and, acts. It also helps one to determine and decide how to deal with stress, how to relate to others, and how to make healthy decisions. Mental health is important in all stages of life, starting from childhood to adolescence. It forms as one of the most important parts of one's life.

Although words are often used interchangeably, mental health and mental illness are not the same. A person may have poor mental health and may be diagnosed with a mental illness. Similarly, a person diagnosed with a mental illness may experience periods of physical, mental, and social well-being.

Why is mental health important for the rest of life?

Mental and physical health is an important part of overall health. For example, depression increases the risk of many types of physical health problems, especially chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Similarly, the presence of chronic conditions can increase the risk of mental illness.

And last but not least we are going to see the connection between HIV and Mental Health and for that, we are going to show you, how depression works in women who are suffering from HIV.

Women living with HIV face an unequal burden of mental health problems. To date, international guidelines contain inadequate guidelines for mental health support, especially with regard to obstetric care.

Women living with HIV are more likely to suffer from depression than women in general. Most people living with HIV live longer, healthier, healthier lives, and have better relationships without fear of transmitting HIV if their partner is not living with HIV. However, learning that you are living with HIV is a life-changing experience that can be very difficult to hear and accept. Some people feel frustrated, helpless, or unable to cope with their HIV diagnosis. Some fear for their future, or disclose their HIV status to friends and family. The stigma attached to many HIV-positive women can lead to social isolation and feelings of loneliness. All of these feelings - helplessness, anxiety, and loneliness - are important symptoms of depression.

Many women living with HIV also face other stressors in their lives such as racism, sexism, sexual harassment, poverty, violence and single parenthood, which can lead to depression. An HIV diagnosis can add to this burden and increase the chances of a woman experiencing depression.

As HIV treatment has improved, more and more old women are living with HIV. Aging often involves your life's challenges, such as chronic illness, disability, or the death of a loved one. These changes in life can lead to feelings of sadness or depression. Depression, however, is not a normal part of aging.

After seeing how depression works in women who are suffering from HIV and how scary it can become when you get to know that you are HIV positive. It leads one to go through depression because of things like familial, societal and one’s own mental pressure and sufferings.

But now we shall look at how depression can cause some serious problems to women suffering from HIV.

Studies show that there is a direct link between depression and poor health for those living with HIV. In particular, depressed HIV-positive women gradually seek out HIV care, have greater difficulty adhering to their HIV treatment regimens, and their disease progresses more rapidly. If you have symptoms of depression, you may find that you have missed a dose of the drug, taken the wrong dose, or taken the wrong dose at the wrong time. Failure to use your HIV medication regularly can lead to the development of resistance, which makes HIV drugs less effective in fighting the virus. This can cause your CD4 cells to drop and / or the viral load to increase.

If you are depressed, getting help can make a big difference. Some previous studies have shown that the risk of death was reduced among women in contact with a mental health care provider. It is important to diagnose depression and treat it as soon as possible to avoid major complications.

And now we shall let you all know about some facts about HIV and mental health, well more like about the connection between it.

·   Living with any serious illness can affect your emotional health. People with HIV are more likely to have mental health problems.

·   There are many things you can do to take care of your mental health. Talking about how you feel can be an important first step.

·   You are not alone. It may be helpful to hear about other people's experiences, share your feelings or seek professional support.

If you are suffering from HIV, you may be given a lot of guidance and treatment to improve your physical health but caring for your emotional and mental health is equally important.

There are many different types of mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety disorders, low self-esteem, or personality disorders. They can affect anyone and everyone but living with HIV can cause additional anxiety which can lead to mental health problems.

The Mental problem can trigger from anything and everything, thus we shall always be considerate enough to watch how we behave with others, because even though they might be just some action or reaction on our behalf but they might cause  serious damage to the person in front of us or receiving end.

Ref: Depression, Women, and HIV | The Well Project


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