Within the framework of the United Nation Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), HIV/AIDS represents a public health emergency of international concern. Given the magnitude of the pandemic, especially in low and middle-income countries, efforts to combat the disease require multidisciplinary approaches. On 21 to 22 November 2011, UNU International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH), together with the Centre of Excellence for Research in AIDS (CERIA), University of Malaya, will organize an international seminar on the “Socio-economic and Mental Health Burden of HIV/AIDS in Developing Countries,” in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The seminar will bring together a selected group of stakeholders including academics, researchers, policy-makers, civil society representatives, frontline workers, UN agencies and NGO representatives, to share knowledge, expertise and multi-disciplinary approaches. The seminar will also help address gaps in policies and promote the integration of primary mental health care approaches into HIV/AIDS programmes. It aims to:
The relationship and interaction between HIV/AIDS and mental health has been widely documented. However, mental health disorders in low and middle-income countries do not attract the attention of the global health policy community. Although more than 80 per cent of the global population live in low and middle-income countries, just 6 per cent of the research on mental health has been documented in these countries. Furthermore, a significant number of HIV infected people have or develop mental health problems, and this often adversely impacts on HIV/AIDS treatment outcomes and adherence. Even though over 90 per cent of the burden of HIV/AIDS is in developing countries, very little research emerges in the area of HIV/AIDS and mental health for the afflicted population in the developing world.
The social and economic consequences of HIV/AIDS and mental health also impacts on partner stability, family members, caregivers, friends, neighbours and the community. This seminar will explore why it is imperative to include mental health interventions in HIV/AIDS initiatives, as promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as to promote collaboration and the sharing of experiences amongst health policy makers.
Palace of the Golden Horses Hotel,
Jalan Emas, Mines Resort City,
43000 Seri Kembangan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia