The Body is a great resource for those living with HIV. Here is a link with excellent points for any one dealing with depression, positive or negative.
Wesley Thompson is the medical director of Amity Medical Group. He sees patients at two locations, Amity Medical Group East at 6010 E. WT Harris Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28215 and Amity Medical Group South at 16147 Lancaster Highway, Suite 140, Charlotte, NC 28277. He has been in practice for 30 years providing primary care to the HIV/AIDS population of Mecklenburg County and surrounding counties as well as routine medical care to the LGBT community. Wesley is a board certified physician assistant and the first physician assistant to be certified as an HIV Specialist in the state of North Carolina and one of the first in the United States. He has co-investigated in over 60 clinical trials for new medications in the fight against HIV. Wesley has had the honor to serve as guest lecturer at Davidson University, Duke University, UNCC, CPCC, Wake Forest University and as an Adjunct Professor at Wingate University. He also serves as a speaker for the National Ryan White Action Campaign. Wesley serves on the North Carolina AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), sits on the board of CarolinasCare AIDS Service Organization, and is co-chair of the Southeast Chapter of the American Academy of HIV Medicine. He served on the Board of Directors for the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN) and the AIDSWALK Committee. He also had the honor of Co-Chairing of the Mecklenburg County Commissioners HIV Task Force and is currently the Co-Chair of the Quality Management Ryan White Grant Committee for Mecklenburg County. Wesley is also on the Board of Directors for the North Carolina AIDS Alliance Network (NCAAN) and is a member of the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH).
Thompson received his Bachelor of Arts at Wake Forest in 1982, his Bachelor of Health Science and Physician Assistant degree at Duke in 1987 and his Master in Health at Duke in 1991. He was honored with the 2005 www.TheBody.com HIV Leadership Award for his work in the fight against HIV/AIDS. In January 2009, Wesley was awarded the Distinguished Fellow Status from the American Academy of Physician Assistants, and in December 2009, received the lifetime achievement award from Metrolina AIDS Project (MAP) for community service and ongoing financial support.
Wesley attends St. Peter’s Episcopal Church where he served as a Eucharistic Minister. He shares his life with Mark (Trey) Owen who he has loved from the moment they met 27 years ago. After Trey’s successful battle against Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia and his receipt of an adult stem cell transplant from Germany, the couple traveled to Vancouver, B.C. and were married on November 18, 2006, on the exact day and to the hour they met twenty years earlier. Trey is retired from IBM. The couple shares their home with Astro and Jackson, both Miniature Schnauzers.
Excellent article on mental health and HIV. The medical field and society need to normalize mental health. A seminal article from the Southern Medical Journal in January 2005 queried more than 8800 patient about the time of HIV acquisition and found that 61% were actively abusing a substance, 32% were dealing with a mental health condition, and 23% were dealing with both substance abuse and mental health. Another statistic indicates that at any given time 25% of patients living with HIV ae also dealing with depression.
Mental health disproportionately affects patients living with HIV compared to the HIV negative population with the three most common are bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression. Mental health and substance abuse must be integrated in to daily HIV care and normalizing mental health through demystifying and destigmatizing are our first steps.