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The effects HIV and AIDS can have on an individual's mental health range from the depression and anxiety that may accompany an HIV-positive diagnosis or the death of a loved one, to the dementia and psychosis that can occur when the disease becomes more advanced.

And yet, South Africa's public health sector has virtually no specialised mental health services for people living with HIV. Non-governmental organisations are attempting to fill the gap with support groups and counselling provided mainly by lay staff.

PlusNews, the United Nations HIV and AIDS news service, recently completed a three-part series focusing on the neglected issue of mental health in relation to HIV in South Africa.

To access the stories, click on the links below:

SOUTH AFRICA: HIV and depression – something to talk about

http://www.plusnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=78675

SOUTH AFRICA: Caregivers also need shoulder to lean on

http://www.plusnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=78801