Psychological needs for HIV positive people
China is recognising the value of psychological support for those living with HIV as it begins to build a support base for the estimated 780,000 citizens who are HIV positive.
Xiao Jinsong, associate professor of psychology and neurology at Wuhan University:
“…led a survey in 2009 of 200 sufferers in Hubei, which found more than 85 percent of them said they struggled with various mental problems, including insomnia, anxiety and depression.”
These feelings are not uncommon. An HIV diagnosis still carries with it a huge amount of stigma and blame, in addition to coping with the physical realities of living with an ongoing chronic illness through issues such as medication side effects.
The Victorian AIDS Council provides therapeutic groups as well as one-on-one counselling at their base in South Yarra. In Sydney, a free service with limited hours is available through ACON, and in Queensland through QAHC.