Giving ''sadness'' a Name

The Need for Integrating Depression Treatment Into HIV Care in Uganda

Published in: Journal of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care, v. 14, no. 2, Mar./Apr. 2015, p. 108-111

Posted on RAND.org on November 20, 2014

by Raymond Odokonyero, Glenn Wagner, Victoria K. Ngo, Noeline Nakasujja, Seggane Musisi, Akena Dickens

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Depression is common among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and can have significant consequences for HIV disease progression, treatment response and prevention. Yet mental health services are limited in most HIV care programs in this region, in part due to severe shortages of mental health professionals. To address the need for establishing an effective, sustainable model for integrating depression treatment into HIV care in SSA, we have embarked upon a 3-year research project, INDEPTH Uganda (INtegrating DEPression Treatment and in HIV care in Uganda), to evaluate a task-sharing, protocolized approach to providing antidepressant care in ten HIV clinics in Uganda. In this paper we share our experiences with two treated cases identified during the initial days of implementation, which we believe highlight the potential value and policy implications for task shifting depression care models in under-resourced settings.

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