Dissemination of Findings of the Gede and IHVN Prevalence Study on Depression, Alcohol Use Disorder and Suicidality Among People Living With HIV-AIDS in Nigeria

On January 20, 2017, the Institute of Human Virology in Nigeria (IHVN) and Gede Foundation hosted participants in Nassarawa State to discuss findings and results from the Study that was championed by both organizations in 2015.

The Study was conducted in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with 1187 respondents in 3 HIV treatment sites — Asokoro District Hospital, Garki District Hospital and University of Abuja Teaching Hospital Gwagwalada. Using the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria, the lifetime prevalence of major depressive episode was 28.2%; 7.8% engaged in harmful alcohol use; and 14% thought of committing suicide in their lifetime.

 Heads of HIV treatment sites in the FCT, treatment site managers, researchers, interviewers, and members of the press attended the dissemination meeting in Nassarawa. This meeting was the first time the results were made public in order to generate discussion on the integration of mental health services into the HIV/AIDS treatment platform using evidence-based information.

Dr. Ernest Ekong (IHVN Director of Clinical Services and Co-Investigator for the project) introduced the study, its objectives, and major results. Mr. Chidozie Bright Edokwe (Project Field Coordinator) presented the section on research methods, while Mr. Godwin Etim (Performance Director, Resource Mobilization and Partnership Management, and Project Field Supervisor) presented the conclusions and recommendations.

Participants viewed the study results as essential, representing significant evidence that supports the need to integrate mental health services into the HIV treatment and care pathway in Nigeria. IHVN acknowledged and recognized the work of those who were directly involved in field activities. The complete report will be widely published and disseminated in due course.