The HIV epidemic will not end unless we prioritise youth mental health
Poor mental health and poor engagement in HIV testing often go hand-in-hand.
These goals can only be achieved if mental health specialists are contributing to sustainable, culturally appropriate healthcare programmes.
Mental health specialists could advocate for testing programmes that address such fears and increase understanding.Another barrier is lack of mental health treatment options in many of the countries with the highest HIV burden.
Once it becomes accessible in resource-limited settings, it will be critical that mental health treatment and additional behavioural support are made available, because of the risk of poor adherence to PrEP for someone with a co-existing mental health condition.
Young people living with HIV face high levels of stigmatisation, and fear of peer-rejection is at peak in this age group.