Many chronic conditions are linked to an increased risk of mental health issues, and HIV is no different. People living with the virus are at higher risk of developing mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. Conversely, people living with mental health issues may be at higher risk of contracting HIV.
“Anxiety, depression, and substance use can increase the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs) by decreasing HIV-negative people’s ability to assert themselves sexually and protect themselves against infection through the use of condoms and PrEP. For people living with HIV, these problems can make it more difficult to stick with HIV medications to get to a suppressed viral load,” explained Dr. Trevor Hart, Co-Lead of the CTN’s Prevention Core.
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