Quality of Life of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Port Harcourt, Nigeria
BACKGROUND: With the advent of free treatment with highly active anti-retroviral therapy across Nigeria, people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) now live longer. However, the burden of the disease still remains high. Aside from quantity of life lived, quality of life (QOL) as a second key component of the burden of the disease has therefore come to the fore. There is increasing body of literature on quality of life among PLWHA from other parts of the country. However, there is still paucity of data in our environment. This study assessed the QOL of PLWHA attending the anti-retroviral clinic in the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, South - South region of Nigeria.
A descriptive cross-sectional study design was used. Five hundred (500) PLWHA attending the Anti-retroviral Clinic of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, were consecutively selected. A questionnaire, administered at interview was used to obtain socio-demographic and medical data. The WHOQOL-HIV bref was used to assess the quality of life of each study participant.
The mean age of the respondents was 37.67 ± 12.1years (range 18-70 years). Two hundred and fifty-six (53%)of the participants were males. 269 (53.8%) were married and 216(80.2%) had spouses who were positive. The QOL mean scores were highest for the environment domain (18.49 ± 2.09) and spirituality / religion /personal beliefs domain (15.52 ± 1.41). Physical health (13.13 ± 1.70) and psychological domain (13.35 ± 1.31) had QOL mean scores which were similar. The overall QOL mean scores were lowest in social relationships (12.64 + 2.17) and level of dependence domains (12.69 + 1.30). A significant difference in the mean QOL scores was observed among men (12.87 ± 1.04) compared to women (12.48 ± 1.46) in the level of dependence (p=0.00).
CONCLUSION:The lower mean score in social relationship and level of dependence domain may suggest the fear of stigmatization and discrimination. Any intervention targeted at improving the quality of life among this group must address this fear
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