AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 204–208 | Cite as

Depression Among HIV-Positive Individuals in Botswana: A Behavioral Surveillance

  • Kathy Lawler
  • Mosepele Mosepele
  • Esther Seloilwe
  • Sarah Ratcliffe
  • Katherine Steele
  • Rudo Nthobatsang
  • Andrew Steenhoff
Original Paper


This study examined incidence of depression in HIV-positive individuals in Botswana. One hundred and twenty HIV-positive individuals were administered a measure of daily activities and two measures of depression. Twenty four to 38% were diagnosed with depression, suicidal ideation ranged from 9 to 12%, with a positive correlation between scores on the two depression measures. Depression was associated with greater impairment in activities of daily living, especially the ability to take medication. These instruments can diagnose depression in persons living with HIV in developing countries, which will help to target those at risk for poor adherence, and will enable better allocation of limited resources.


HIV AIDS Depression Botswana Activities Daily living 



Supported by the Center for AIDS Research, University of Pennsylvania. The authors would like to thank the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Botswana for permission to carry out this project and for comments concerning the study design. We thank Rameshwari Thakur for help with the Setswana translations and IRB applications, Rosemarie Kappes for assistance with IRB applications, Aaron T. Beck for permission to translate the BDI-FS, Paul Moberg for calculating the sample size, Robert Heaton for providing the modified ADL Scale, Pablo Tebas for assistance with the study design, Harvey Friedman for facilitating international collaborations, the staff at the IDCC for assistance enrolling patients, Robert MacGregor for reviewing the manuscript, and Michael Blank for suggestions concerning the manuscript.

Competing Interests

The authors report no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathy Lawler
    • 3
    • 4
  • Mosepele Mosepele
    • 2
  • Esther Seloilwe
    • 1
  • Sarah Ratcliffe
    • 3
    • 5
  • Katherine Steele
    • 3
  • Rudo Nthobatsang
    • 3
  • Andrew Steenhoff
    • 3
    • 6
  1. 1.Center for the Study of HIV and AIDSUniversity of BotswanaGaboroneBotswana
  2. 2.Infectious Disease Care CenterPrincess Marina HospitalGaboroneBotswana
  3. 3.Center for AIDS ResearchUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Department of NeurologyHospital of the University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  5. 5.Department of Biostatistics & EpidemiologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  6. 6.Children’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA

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