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April 15, 2009

U.K.: Top Needs of HIV-Positive People Linked to Mental Health

The top concerns of most positive people living in the United Kingdom include anxiety, depression, self-esteem, sleep and sex, according to a recent study reported on by The study, published by Sigma Research, points out that these problems correspond to personal experiences rather than to physical issues.

Questionnaires were given to HIV-related volunteer organizations and HIV outpatient clinics. The participants were given questions about 20 topic areas that had been identified by previous research as troubling for HIV-positive people.

According to the article, seven out of 10 participants confessed to having problems in the last year in each of the following areas: anxiety and depression, self-esteem and self-confidence, sex, and sleeping. Many of the respondents’ problems with anxiety and depression were due to their HIV status. They also reported that their most frequent problem with sex was that they were not having it or were not having enough of it, which was associated with poor self-image. Any difficulties sleeping generally came from problems with physical health, mental health or medication.

“Changes in service provision over the last five years have been driven by funding pressures rather than an understanding of the changing needs of people with HIV,” said researchers from the study. “Such pressures remain, but a clearer assessment of needs will hopefully improve our capacity to plan and fund appropriate services.”

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