Promoting Self-Care Management inIindividuals with Serious Mental Illness and HIV

People with a serious mental illness (SMI) along with HIV have complex health conditions. This population also has high rates of poverty, difficulty in sustaining regular housing, and limited supportive networks. Typically, the combination of psychotropic and HIV medication regimens is complicated, changes frequently, and requires coordination among multiple providers. Furthermore, fragmented and divided primary health care and mental health care systems present substantial barriers for these individuals and for the public health nurses who care for them. In this paper, we present “real world” case studies of individuals with SMI and HIV and the self-care management strategies used by nurses to address medication and treatment management, build interpersonal skills, and develop sustainable health networks. The case studies can be used for quality improvement discussions among practicing public health nurses and for instructing nursing students in a self-care management approach.