Interventions Addressing Depression and HIV-Related Outcomes in People with HIV

Noelle A. Mendez, Daniel Mayo, Steven A. Safren

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: People with HIV (PWH) are more likely to experience depression than those without HIV. Depression is not only distressing and interfering in and of itself, but it is also consistently associated with non-adherence to antiretroviral treatment (ART). Accordingly, research and clinical priorities require updated knowledge about interventions that address depression in PWH. Recent Findings: Twenty efficacy trials and nine pilot studies since a 2009 review emerged in the literature review search. Of these, 11 and 6 respectively had a depression-related inclusion criterion. The intervention strategies included individual psychotherapy (n=6), group therapy (n=6), telehealth (n=3), and antidepressant medication (n=5). Generally, these interventions demonstrated acute efficacy for improving depression symptoms in PWH, with some also addressing ART non-adherence. However, not all studies collected follow-up data. Furthermore, trials that addressed depression but did not specifically address non-adherence did not also show adherence improvements. Summary: Existing interventions for depression have demonstrated efficacy in PWH, and these may have both positive mental and physical health outcomes. Future trials should measure and boost longer-term effects. It would be useful to incorporate adherence interventions into depression treatment to improve self-care behaviors and health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCurrent HIV/AIDS Reports
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • ART adherence
  • Depression
  • HIV
  • Intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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