Background Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) has not been studied in Indian patients with viral sexually transmitted infections (STIs): herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) and genital human papilloma virus (HPV) infections. Furthermore, there is no reported study that compares HRQOL among these two viral STIs and HIV.
Methods All consenting adults with any of the three viral infections attending a sexually transmitted disease clinic and 35 healthy controls were enrolled. HRQOL was evaluated using the WHOQOL-BREF instrument, which evaluates QOL under physical, psychological, social and environmental domains. Data concerning demographic and socioeconomic status were collected.
Results There were 65 (27.3%), 60 (25.2%) and 53 (22.3%) patients with HIV, HSV-2 and HPV, respectively, and 25 (10.5%) patients with mixed infections. The WHOQOL-BREF scores of patients in different STI groups were significantly lower than those of controls. The total HRQOL scores (mean±SD) were 280.1±83.56 (among controls), 196.9±72.41 (genital HPV), 141.0±50.50 (HSV-2), 101.0±75.25 (HIV) and 103.4±47.23(mixed infection groups). Mean HRQOL scores were lowest in the physical and psychological domains. HRQOL scores were least in HIV and mixed infections groups, while patients with genital HPV infection had significantly better HRQOL scores compared to other patient groups. Higher education and socioeconomic status had a positive influence on HRQOL.
Conclusion Viral STIs were associated with a significant reduction in HRQOL scores. Among patient groups, the greatest impact on HRQOL was seen in those with HIV and mixed infections and the least impact seen in those with genital HPV infection. Comprehensive care including counselling services need to be implemented in STI clinics.
- Quality of life
- herpes simplex virus type 2
- genital HPV
- herpes simplex
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Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.