According to a study published in the American Journal of Managed Care integrating mental health care access into a comprehensive care plan improves the likelihood of medication adherence among people living with HIV.

The study, conducted in 2018, utilized a cross-sectional survey to identify needs among people living with HIV in the Midwestern region of the United States and distinguished mental health care services (MHCS) by those in need of and those already receiving services.

Of the 537 survey respondents, 20% reported receiving integrated MHCS, 8% reported needing but being unable to receive MHCS, and 72% reported not needing or receiving MHCS. Overall, 50% of the sample reported missing at least some HIV medication within the past 30 days. Individuals who needed but did not receive MHCS were more likely to report treatment nonadherence. No significant difference in adherence was identified between those who received MHCS and those who did not need MHCS.

These findings suggest the importance of routine assessment and linkage to mental health supportive services to achieve HIV viral suppression. The study identified that people living with HIV who report needing but not receiving MHCS are significantly more likely to report nonadherence with HIV medication compared with both individuals who received MHCS and individuals who reported not needing services.

For more information on this study please visit the American Journal of Managed Care