Bridging the Gap Between HIV and Mental Health Services in South Africa

  • Pamela Y. Collins
  • Melvyn Freeman


Where AIDS is most prevalent, poverty and limited treatment render illness and death a frequent occurrence. Unlike other calamities, AIDS often comes in secret, bearing shame and the risk of rejection in addition to the anticipation of suffering and death. Many who live in settings with few resources for care can only witness the progression of the epidemic in a state of relative helplessness. Medical staff experience burnout, emotional numbing, and disengagement when AIDS cases overwhelm hospitals where treatment options are limited (Raviola et al., 2002). In settings where substantial numbers of nursing and other staff have been reported to be infected with HIV, health-care providers, a valuable community resource, are severely handicapped in their ability to provide support (Uebel et al., 2007). The epidemic seems bound to exact an emotional as well as physical toll on affected communities.


Mental Health Mental Disorder Mental Illness Mental Health Service Mental Health Problem 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pamela Y. Collins
    • 1
  • Melvyn Freeman
    • 2
  1. 1.Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Stellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa

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