Academic Study Finds Many Poor, Pregnant Women With HIV Go Untreated for Depression

A study conducted by researchers at Ohio State University and the University of Michigan found that many low-income pregnant women with HIV who are depressed do not receive treatment for depression.

The data showed that 28 percent of all low-income pregnant women with HIV were being treated for depression, whereas the authors believe the percentage of such women who are actually depressed is much higher.

The authors found a huge racial disparity in reported rates of depression. Only 20 percent of the Black women were being treated for depression compared to 43 percent of White women. The differences may be the result of the fact that Black women are less likely to report depression and are less likely to seek treatment.

Depression, if left untreated, can lead to substance abuse which could be harmful to the fetus.

Rajesh Balkrishnan, an associate professor at the University of Michigan, and one of the authors of the study, stated, “Depression is very common in this very vulnerable population. I think we need to make sure depression is screened and treated.”

The article, published on the website of the journal Health Outcomes Research in Medicine, can be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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