Gede Foundation and The Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria (IHVN) signed the letter of agreement on February 12, 2015 to conduct the Prevalence Study on Depression, Alcohol Use, and Suicide Among the HIV Population in Abuja. The first of its kind involving a large sample size (n=1,200) in Nigeria, the study is aimed at documenting the relationship between common mental disorders and HIV, comparing cohorts from 3 treatment sites that are at different stages of the disease and who are either undergoing antiretroviral therapy (ART) or are under care and monitoring, as well as some sociodemographic characteristics.
Submission of the research protocol will be done this week. Preparations for site visits, hiring of interviewers, and logistics requirements have been scheduled for the next two weeks. Training of interviewers is expected by mid-March and data collection will be in April.
Establishing the link between mental health conditions and HIV is a first step towards the ultimate goal of integrating mental health into HIV care and support regimes.