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HIV sufferers to receive mental counseling (2)

By  SHAN JUAN  (China Daily)

08:39, October 08, 2012

Xiao said some AIDS patients with mental disorders have been found resorting to extreme behavior, such as suicide and intentionally spreading HIV.

Xiao said he 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.

About 40 percent said they had received psychological treatment.

"The percentage might be higher than the national average, as they (the respondents) were largely infected through blood transfusions," the psychologist said.

He said people in this situation are more likely to develop serious mental problems and take revenge on society than those who contract the virus through sexual intercourse.

Xiao said adequate social support could help ease mental health issues faced by sufferers.

Zhao, at the National Center for AIDS and STD Control, said early detection can go a long way in preventing mental health problems. "Psychological intervention and care initiated early, particularly for young sufferers, can help ensure their drug compliance and avert the risks of developing serious mental health conditions," Zhao said.

"It benefits both the sufferers and the general public."

Xiao agreed, but conceded that China has been relatively late in undertaking such work and lacks psychologists specializing in HIV or AIDS.


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