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Standards for psychological support for adults living with HIV

British Psychological Society (BPS), British HIV Association (BHIVA) and Medical Foundation for AIDS & Sexual Health (MedFASH)

Published: 17 November 2011

Despite significant medical advances in HIV treatment, people living with HIV experience significantly higher rates of psychological difficulties than the general population. Psychological support improves both mental and physical health and reduces the risk of HIV transmission. Yet the availability and quality of psychological support for people living with HIV is currently variable.

These standards describe the support that all adults living with HIV should receive, from a wide range of professional groups, peers and informal providers, to enhance their mental health and their cognitive, emotional and behavioural wellbeing. They focus on:

  • the promotion of mental health and wellbeing
  • the early detection of psychological difficulties and
  • the provision of appropriate interventions for those who need them.

A valuable tool for both providers and commissioners, they support the development and maintenance of high quality, cost-effective services and care pathways for adults living with HIV.

Jointly produced by the BPS, BHIVA and MedFASH with the active engagement of a multidisciplinary working party, these first ever UK Standards for psychological support for adults living with HIV are endorsed by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH), the National AIDS Trust (NAT), the National HIV Nurses Association (NHIVNA), the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ (RCPsych) Faculty of Liaison Psychiatry, and the Society of Sexual Health Advisers (SSHA).
 


Standards for psychological support for adults living with HIV