Press Release:– Efforts at developing a framework to strengthen mental health and psychosocial support for persons living with HIV and TB, their partners, families and caregivers are ongoing as a two-day workshop was held recently.
Workshop Facilitator Patricia Isaac-Joseph emphasised that psycho-social support for HIV patients is necessary as it will help them with coping and adhering to treatment.
“As part of the Global Fund grant which the OECS countries are a recipient of, it is really looking at what are some of the issues that come out of getting a diagnosis of HIV or TB and what are some of the support systems we need to put in place to help persons to just work through the process and to be able to live with a condition as well as to stick to the treatment that they have been given.”
Physician at the Infectious Diseases Unit in the Department of Health and Wellness Dr. Gail Gajadhar says providing assistance is crucial in reducing the psychological distress for persons coping with HIV and TB diagnosis.
“A person who is diagnosed with TB, the first two months of their illness, they are infectious so they are isolated. I think most of us know that the isolation is at the Victoria Hospital. When you are isolated, you cannot work, you are out of work and some persons may lose their job over that or lose their homes over that. So we need to have some form of assistance so at least allow those persons to manage their bills, families or whatever that is going on there during that period.”
The workshop was made possible by the Global Fund through the OECS HIV/TB Elimination Project.