Introduction HIV/AIDS impacts heavily on the infected individual and the society at large, there is therefore a need to evaluate the quality of life of HIV-infected individuals.
Objectives: To assess the impact of HIV/AIDS on the Health related quality of life (HRQOL) of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), and to investigate the determinants of the QOL of PLWHA.
Methods A descriptive cross-sectional study design was used. One hundred and three (103) PLWHA accessing healthcare were consecutively selected. A questionnaire, containing data on socio-demographic and medical profiles, on the WHOQOL-HIV Bref was used to assess each study participant. HRQOL was evaluated to assess quality of life domains that included physical and physiological health, level of independence, social relationships, environment, and spirituality/religion/personal beliefs. Means, standard deviations, and statistical tests for differences were performed.
Results The mean age of the respondents was 41.0 (range 21–73); 48 (46.6%) of the participants were males. The QOL mean scores were highest for the spirituality/religion/personal beliefs domain (16.88±2.83) and lowest for the environment domain (14.08±1.95). The overall QOL mean scores in the other four domains were similar: physical health (15.92±3.05), psychological health (15.35±3.20), level of independence (15.90±3.52), social relationships (15.11±2.26). Significant differences were observed in all domains among respondents with family support compared to those without family support. Similarly, asymptomatic patients had significantly higher QOL scores compared to symptomatic patients. Improved QOL was influenced by higher educational levels in all domains except the spirituality/religion/personal beliefs domain.
Conclusion The impact of HIV on the HRQOL was highest in the environment and social relationships domains. Also, HIV serostatus, presence of family support, and educational levels had significant effects on the QOL of PLWHA.
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