Jul 30, 2009
OK - maybe I am just frustrated...but why is it so hard to get a referral to a mental health professional who works with poz folks? My doctor's office doesn't (bizarre; insurance company will give names, bit no clue as to whether they work with hiv 'ers; I can't find anything online.
Response from Dr. McGowan
Thanks for your post.
This is a common and frustrating problem. We have encountered this in New York as well. There are usually waiting lists to get people in. Mental health care for people with HIV is really a specialty in itself and few pyschiatrists are trained in this field. I think they may want to treat but are concerned that they may cause drug interactions with our meds if they are not familiar with them. Many programs, such as ours, have gotten grants to support having psychiatry, therapy and mental health support groups on site. I would try to contact your local HIV specialty center (if one is near by) to see if they have services. Also monies to support mental health care for people with HIV come through the RYan White Part A and B funding. Checking with your state health department may help identify who in your region is getting the funding.
I would appreciate any thoughts on this topics from readers.
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