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Advice on the psychological impact of Covid-19 for people living with HIV

28 August 2020

Some people living with HIV may need additional to support to manage the psychological impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

That is the focus of new guidance issued by the British Psychological Society’s Division of Clinical Psychology’s Faculty for HIV and Sexual Health.

The document says that, while many people living with a virus such as HIV will have developed the psychological resilience to cope with changes to their lifestyles and relationships, others are likely to have complex needs.

It highlights the particular attention that will need to be paid to changes in access to healthcare, which may be re-traumatising for some people, and that facing the lockdown restrictions posed by Covid-19 may increase stress.

The guidance gives tips on what services can do to offer service users the best possible care, including:

  • Ensuring all service users are kept up-to-date with any changes
  • Identify service users with complex needs for additional support
  • Support and empower service users to self-manage their condition
  • Make services more sensitive to people’s trauma

It also suggests changes to offer to healthcare teams, including the continuous use of psychology and trauma-focused approaches to care.

The document is part of a suite of resources produced by the BPS and its member networks on the response to Covid-19.

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