HIV-related symptoms and patient clusters among Chileans living with HIV

A. X. Araya, K. F. Norr, C. M. Pérez, J. A. Levy, C. G. Park, M. J. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Identifying both Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related and co-morbid symptoms experienced by people living with HIV (PLWH) who are receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) treatment is a major challenge for healthcare providers globally. Yet, little research to date has examined the symptoms of illness experienced by PLWH including patients living in Central and South American. To address this gap, this study was designed to identify symptoms of HIV by socio-demographic and/or clinical characteristics among Chilean patients living with the virus. A convenience sample of 209 Chilean PLWH was recruited from an outpatient clinic in Santiago, Chile. A structured interview was used to elicit socio-demographic information and HIV symptoms status. Additional clinical information was obtained through a review of the participants' medical records. Results show that patients most commonly reported HIV-related symptoms were fear/worries (66%), anxiety (52%), gas/bloating (50%), and thirst (50%). Multivariate analysis revealed a positive association between the number of reported HIV-related symptoms and number of years living with HIV. Having completed college was negatively associated with number of symptoms. Latent class analysis indicated that PLWH in the sample who had completed college were two times more likely to experience a mild intensity of HIV-related symptoms than their lesser educated counterparts. Similarly, logistic regression revealed that college-educated PLWH were twice as likely to be classified in the subgroup reporting mild intensity of symptoms than those who lacked a college degree. Overall, the study's results reveal that many Chilean PLWH, even those with high CD4 counts and low or undetectable viral loads, are not symptom free. The findings point to the need for clinicians to tailor a plan of care for individuals living with HIV that is based on their symptomatology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)488-495
Number of pages8
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013

Keywords

  • HIV infections
  • clusters analysis
  • people living with HIV
  • quantitative method
  • symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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