Quality of life in HIV subtype C infection among asymptomatic subjects and its association with CD4 counts and viral loads – a study from South India
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To study the association between quality of life (QOL) domains and biological markers of disease progression of HIV infection, i.e. viral load (VL) and CD4 counts among asymptomatic subjects with HIV subtype C infection in South India.
Quality of life was measured using the locally validated version of the WHOQOL HIV-BREF. The subjects were neurologically asymptomatic, non psychiatrically ill HIV infected men and women participating in a cohort study.
The results indicated mixed findings, with some QOL dimensions being associated with high VLs and low CD4 counts while several others did not show any associations. Significant associations were seen between low CD4 counts and the psychological and social relationships domain, with lower mean scores in these domains being reported by subjects having CD4 counts <200 /mm. However, there were no significant differences between the CD4 subgroups for the domains related to physical health, level of independence, environment, and spirituality domains. Significant lower mean QOL scores were found in the highest VL subgroup compared to other groups for the following WHOQOL HIV-BREF domains: physical, psychological, level of independence, and environmental.
In this sample of HAART naïve asymptomatic HIV infected subjects, some QOL dimensions were associated with the biological markers of disease progression i.e. VL and CD4 counts, while several were not. The associations were significant only in the high VL and low CD4 groups.
KeywordsCD 4 Counts HIV India Quality of Life Viral load
This study is supported by an NIH R01 NS-41205 grant from NIH, USA. We acknowledge the support by all the Research Officers and Co-investigators from NIMHANS, Bangalore, India and University of Miami, USA
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