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HIV infection can be a very challenging and exhausting illness. It often affects not only your body, but your mind and emotions as well. If you notice, or someone tells you that you show signs of depression, consult your healthcare provider immediately.
Depression often goes undiagnosed and untreated, as the warning signs are often misinterpreted. People with HIV, their families and friends should be careful not to assume that the symptoms of depression are the inevitable reactions of someone who has been diagnosed with HIV. Depression is a separate illness that can and should receive treatment in addition to the treatment the person is undergoing for HIV or Aids.
While some of the symptoms of depression could be related to specific HIV-related disorders (such as hepatitis B or C) or the side-effects of medication, a skilled health professional should be able to recognise the symptoms of depression and suggest appropriate treatment.
How to recognise the signs of depression
If you have experienced any five of the following symptoms for at least two weeks, ask your healthcare provider to refer you to a mental health professional or for information about what treatments are available for the condition: