Barcelona 2013
Barcelona 2013
Abstract book - Abstract - 321
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Conference Details
International Committee
Plenary Speakers
Presenting Speakers
Scientific Committee
Abstract #321  -  Mental Health
  39.8: Mental Health (Parallel) on Tuesday @ 16.30-18.30 in Teatre Chaired by Sue Gibbons,
Jordi Blanch

  Presenting Author:   Dr. Haochu Li - Wayne State University School of Medicine, United States
  Additional Authors:  Lic Juan Sotelo, Lic Daniel Palacio, Lic Fernando  D`Elio, Lic Luciana Betti, Dr Silvana Weller, Lic Julia Recchi, Dr Carlos Falistocco,  
Mental health problems of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH) have been widely recognized. But very few studies paid particular attention to newly diagnosed HIV positive men who have sex with men (MSM). We examined the mental health status among newly diagnosed HIV positive migrant MSM residing a city in Southern China, in order to fill up the knowledge gap of potential causes of mental health problems among this vulnerable and high risk population.
Method / Issue:
Forty one newly diagnosed HIV positive MSM (who were diagnosed as HIV positive within 6 months) took part in in-depth interviews guided by a life profile approach. A socio-ecological model was used as a guiding framework and thematic content analysis was employed.
Results / Comments:
Most newly diagnosed HIV positive MSM (27/41) self-reported depressive symptoms, more than half (24/41) had experienced anxiety, and about one third (13/41) had experienced both symptoms. The Initial HIV diagnosis brought on such testified stressors, including frightening images of HIV/AIDS, side-effects of antiretroviral treatment (ART), and social restrictions due to the disease, serving to make the men feel disabled and worthless. Participants? life history accounts provided evidence of their problems being embedded in social and cultural contexts, which were seen to be more important in affecting mental health than their HIV positive status. The socio-ecological model provided a framework for understanding the reported stressors in the context of individual, interpersonal, socio-cultural conditions. These stressors included social adversity in the process of migration, social suffering as MSM, cultural trauma, stigma and discrimination. A syndemic in HIV and these psycho-social and cultural stressors emerges.
The study informs that newly diagnosed HIV positive MSM encounter significant mental health problems, and the causes of these problems are multiple and socio-ecological. This study implicates that the mental health problems faced by HIV positive MSM has been underemphasized, as seen by the lack of supportive service, and are more complicated than it seems. Policy makers need to be aware of the multiple causes and syndemic nature of mental health problems among HIV positive MSM as well as the consequences of such problems, and to put a priority to review current policies so as to create a better socio-ecological environment to alleviate the problems. A stronger effort to improve the overall conditions faced by HIV positive MSM is greatly warranted.
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