Introduction Tools have been developed to assess quality of life (QOL) among HIV-positive individuals in six domains, including physical health, psychological issues, level of independence, social relationships, environment, and spirituality. A comparison study of QOL among nontreated HIV-positive and HIV-positive individuals on antiretroviral treatment (ART) is necessary to understand changes in QOL due to treatment.
Purpose of Study To assess QOL in two groups of HIV-positive individuals, one group was pretreatment and another group included individuals on ART.
Methods The WHO-BREF QOL assessment was translated into Tamil and administered in Namakkal, India. Twenty-seven males and 26 females not on treatment at the time of the survey comprised the pretreatment group. Thirty males and 25 females on ART for more than 10 months made up the ART-treated group. This study was carried out under a larger study conducted by MGR Medical University in Chennai, India. SPSS version 13.0 software was used to calculate QOL scores for HIV-positive patients.
Results Analysis of QOL scores illustrates a significant difference in physical, psychological, and environmental domains. ART-treated individuals report significantly higher QOL scores in the previous categories.
Discussion HIV-positive individuals who are not on ART report lower QOL in terms of physical health, psychological well-being, and environment. This baseline information may be used for further study of these specific domains. Future studies may be developed to understand why ART-treated individuals report higher QOL scores for mental health than those individuals pretreatment. Perhaps this understanding will help create focused interventions based on information from both groups. Group counseling targeting issues such as mental health and medical symptoms is being planned at Namakkal Government Hospital based on findings from this study. Further interventions may help HIV-positive individuals in South India by addressing specific issues that affect the quality of their lives.
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