Physical and Psychological Effects of HIV AIDS

Whilst the anti-retro viral therapy enables PLHA to regain physical health, psychological or mental health however does not always recover with the physical health.

In 2010, a survey was done by Ms. Thoun Nary, the Seedling of Hope psychological health officer, among a sampling of Seedling of Hope PLHA clients on the correlation of HIV/AIDS and psychological health.

Results of the study showed that there are the five major factors affecting the psychological health of PLHA.

Poverty: Often prior to testing for HIV, people with the virus are impoverished as they incur significant expense searching for a cure for the illness. This leads to a sense of hopelessness, insecurity and isolation which are worsened by the physical effects of poverty such as malnutrition of all family members, loss of shelter and the inability to access medical care or education for children.

Discrimination: The physical manifestations of HIV/AIDS such as skin rashes, weight loss, and poverty can result in discrimination from family or community members . Their children are often discriminated against or taunted because of their HIV/AIDS.

Opportunistic Infections: These infections are the illnesses PLHA are susceptible to as a result of their weakened immune system. Every opportunistic infection feels like a threat to their life as they know that HIV virus will not kill them but an opportunistic infection will..

Anti-retroviral Therapy Side Effects and Resistance: ART side effects can be severe and quite frightening. This can lead the PLHA to non-adherence of their regime from which can they can develop resistance to the treatment to their further detriment.

Treatment From Service Providers: Whilst the delivery of medical services for PLHA had greatly improved, this has resulted in the reduction in the number of HIV/AIDS services supplied by NGOs at low or no cost, and the introduction of charges for services. PLHA are extremely deeply concerned about not being able to afford the service charges and have expressed concerns about the capacity or attitude of government service provides.