CA-IeDEA investigators lead IeDEA’s Mental Health Working Group and are advancing a multiregional research agenda focused on the intersection of mental health and HIV treatment outcomes and the integration of mental health and HIV care.
Research initiatives related to HIV and mental health disorders include:
- Reviewing available epidemiological research on mental health and HIV, including intervention strategies and research priorities related to addressing comorbid mental illness among those living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa as Treat All polices are scaled up across the region.
- Assessing the availability of screening and treatment for mental health disordersat HIV care and treatment sites participating in the IeDEA network.
- Evaluating the appropriateness of the PHQ-9 as a depression screening and diagnosis tool in HIV-infected adult patients in Central and East Africa. Leveraging the expertise to diagnose and manage mental distress and depression at CA-IeDEA sites in Cameroon and the Republic of Congo, this study is assessing the sensitivity and specificity of the PHQ-9 as a screening and diagnosis tool among HIV patients in a non-US context, and exploring whether PHQ-9 questions need to be reformulated to capture differences in the way PLWH express mental distress.
- Studying mental health disorders (MHDs) among people living with HIV in Cameroon. Mixed methods are being used to examine the impact of mental health disorders on HIV treatment outcomes and identify critical barriers and facilitators to integration of evidence-based MHD interventions into HIV care. Ongoing analyses are also exploring the prevalence and determinants of depressive symptoms among people living with HIV.
CA-IeDEA’s work on mental health and HIV is led by Dr. Angela Parcesepe of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.