Anti-retrovirals have always been a blessing for the HIV patients, but new research has shown that it is indeed a double blessing; ARV's are capable of halting the progress of mental illness, and can even reverse the damage.
It is well known that HIV-infection could lead to mental illness. Nearly 40% of people in South Africa suffer depression due to HIV. Dr Michelle Rogers, a psychiatrist, says: "There were several really dramatic findings. I think the most notable of those is the incredible response that patients have to ARVs in the advanced stages of HIV when they have mental illness."
Dr Soraya Seedat from the Stellenbosch University says: "It has changed the way in which we address treatment and I think psychiatrists have become even more aware of issues of informed consent, voluntary counseling, and testing in his population, particularly because they are vulnerable and their psychological state is already compromised."
The South African Society of Psychiatrists has expressed the importance of research into treatment for HIV that can lend a positive insight in the field of psychiatry.