When incorporating best practices and guidelines for HIV care, clinicians must take into account their clients’ mental health and substance use needs. Approximately 30- 50% of people living with HIV/AIDS have current or past severe to moderate depression. At its highest estimate, that’s more than double the prevalence of the general population.
A critical shortage of practitioners who treat HIV/AIDS patients in the United States is on the horizon, according to research by the American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM), which warns that more than 32 percent of today’s HIV clinicians will stop providing that care over the next 10 years. Nearly one-third of today’s workforce will retire leaving a shortage unless new practitioners can be encouraged to replace them. The current HIV workforce is largely composed of medical providers who entered the field more than 20 years ago.
Imagine you are sitting down with a dear friend that you haven’t seen in years because he ran away from an unloving, unsupportive home, from a town where he was different, picked on, and knew he could never be safe - at least that is how he felt, - to a place where he would find love, and the supportive family he so dearly wanted. He discloses that he is gay and living with HIV infection. He says not to worry, that it’s ok, and then he says, “There’s more.” You feel your heart beat faster and time suspends.
Technology is great…when it works. This phrase comes to mind every time technology is supposed to enhance an experience and a malfunction causes that experience to cease. We know that technology should have the capacity to transform our lives, including our lives as HIV care providers. But in order for it to do so, it has to work. It has to be usable (i.e. easy, reliable, and fast). While iPad Minis have been on the market for several years now, a review of the literature yielded no current studies to examine their usability or effectiveness in clinical use.
How many of you are currently reading this blog on your phones? Wait! Don’t answer that. Just the fact that you are reading this and not playing Bejeweled means we are off to a great start. However, if you are using your cell phone to access the internet, you aren’t alone. As of May 2013, 85% of U.S. adults are online, 91% have a cell phone and 56% have a smartphone. Along with increased smartphone ownership, the use of mobile phone applications or ‘apps’ is on the rise.
“I learned that HIV patients are the same as other patients with chronic disease and need our attention and care.”
The new CDC funding (associated with CDC announcement PS 10-10138) provides support for AETCs to deliver training and technical assistance coordinated through funded health departments. Although local needs may differ across sites, regional evaluators have agreed on the measureable constructs below:
About 30% of people receiving care and treatment for HIV infection have major depression. But is it best to conceptualize major depression as a mental illness or a medical illness? If you wake up in a bad mood but your body feels fine, you are very unlikely to have major depression. Physical symptoms, such as severe fatigue and disturbances of sleep and appetite, are part of the diagnostic criteria for major depression, and other physical complaints, such as dizziness, palpitations and gastrointestinal disturbances, are very common.