This condition occurs predominantly at the time of HIVD (HIV disease) diagnosis and the disorder includes acute and chronic adaptation responses to HIVD diagnosis. They include fear of discrimination and imminent death, guilt over infecting others, exacerbation of existing mental conditions and acute suicidal ideation.
However, with each stage of HIVD progression patients have to adapt to changes in their lives brought about by each new symptom and loss events such as death of intimate partner or child as a result of an AIDS related condition. The nature of adaptation responses will influence the patient’s ability to:
• Disclose their sero-status to others and HIV related self stigmatization has been noted to be a major barrier to sharing test results, prohibiting access to social support that may protect patients from many other mental health consequences of HIVD
• Adopt safer sexual practices
• Adopt safer infant feeding options for postnatal mothers
• Access medical and mental care
• Define those involved in their care.
Supportive medical/clinical counseling is the mainstay of more positive adaptive responses to HIVD diagnosis and hence patients may have to be referred to mental health specialists.