Counseling Patients With HIV/AIDS
November 12, 2009
Many patients with HIV/AIDS experience numerous challenges beyond those posed by the physical effects of their disease-including poverty, mental illness, drug addiction, social alienation, racism, and homophobia. Counseling patients who face these issues can be difficult, but a careful risk assessment along with patient education can improve a patient’s ability to cope and lead to better outcomes, said Marshall Forstein, MD, associate professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Mass, in a presentation at the US Psychiatric Congress in Las Vegas. On the basis of his extensive experience in treating patients with HIV/AIDS, he said it is also important to provide hope and to encourage treatment adherence.