Mental Health Problems Affecting People Who Have HIV and AIDS in Malawi: A Review


Malawi is located in the southern part of Africa with a population of more than 16 million people. The country is ravaged with HIV and AIDS epidemic of which the prevalence rate is at 14%. The people who have HIV/AIDS are also affected by mental and psychological disorders. Nevertheless, very little is known about mental health care of people who have HIV and AIDS in Malawi. We did literature search using AJOL, Proquest, PsychINFO, Google Scholar and HINARI search engines and the search yielded scanty (12) research studies on the mental health of people with HIV and AIDS that were conducted in Malawi between 2006-2014. Twelve (12) studies that were reviewed focused on prevalence of mental disorders among people who have HIV and AIDS; nurses’ knowledge and skills for providing mental health care to people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA); perceived risk of HIV infection among people who have mental health problems; substance abuse and HIV/AIDS issues and awareness of interaction between HIV/AIDS and Mental health. In conclusion, the review shows that people with HIV infection are also affected by mental health problems such as depression and substance abuse. They receive some mental health care in general settings at ART clinics because mental health care is integrated into general health care delivery system. Therefore, it is necessary that health professionals who are generalists should be equipped with adequate knowledge and skills for providing mental health care to care to people with HIV and AIDS.

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Chorwe-Sungani, G. , Sefasi, A. and Pindani, M. (2015) Mental Health Problems Affecting People Who Have HIV and AIDS in Malawi: A Review. Open Journal of Nursing, 5, 189-194. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2015.53023.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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