, Volume 10, Issue 1 Supplement, pp 105-111
Date: 27 Jun 2006

Depression and CD4 Cell Count Among Persons with HIV Infection in Uganda

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Despite the importance of mental illness and the high prevalence of HIV in Africa, few studies have documented depressive symptoms among HIV-infected persons in Africa. We assessed factors associated with depression among HIV-infected adults undergoing anti-retroviral eligibility screening in Eastern Uganda. Depressive symptoms were measured using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Univariate and multiple regression analyses were conducted to identify socio-demographic characteristics and disease-related factors associated with depression. Among 1017 HIV-infected participants assessed for depression, 47% (476/1017) reported depressive symptoms (CES-D ≥ 23). Adjusting for age, gender, education, and source of income, patients with CD4 counts <50 cells/μl were more likely to be depressed (odds ratio 2.34, 95% confidence interval, 1.39–3.93, P = 0.001). Women, participants >50 years, and those without an income source were more likely to be depressed. Depression was common among HIV-infected persons in rural Uganda and was associated with low CD4 cell counts. Appropriate screening and treatment for depression should be considered for comprehensive HIV care.

The findings and conclusions in this manuscript are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.