Social Indicators Research

, Volume 81, Issue 2, pp 283–329 | Cite as

The Heart in Haart: Quality of Life of Patients Enrolled in the Public Sector Antiretroviral Treatment Programme in the Free State Province of South Africa

  • F Le R BooysenEmail author
  • H C J Van Rensburg
  • M Bachmann
  • G Louwagie
  • L Fairall


This paper reports on the quality of life of patients enrolled in the public sector antiretroviral treatment programme in the Free State province of South Africa. Statistical analysis of cross-sectional data reveals that it is not access to treatment per se that enhances the quality of life of those who have come forward for ART. Rather, it is the health benefits associated with treatment, levels of stigmatisation, quality health care services, and the ability of persons to access support and care, both from within and outside the health care sector, that are independently associated with improvements in and differences in levels of quality of life.

Key words

antiretroviral treatment happiness HIV/AIDS life satisfaction South Africa 


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The generous material and moral support of CIDA, DCI, DfID, IDRC, JEAPP, USAID, AUSAID and the NRF is gratefully acknowledged. In addition, those patients in the ART programme who were (and are still) willing to act as respondents in the study are sincerely thanked for sacrificing time and energy, and for frankly sharing views and experiences with the researchers. In similar vain, we wish to acknowledge the management and health care staff of the Free State Department of Health and of several local municipalities, who facilitated this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • F Le R Booysen
    • 1
    Email author
  • H C J Van Rensburg
    • 1
  • M Bachmann
    • 2
  • G Louwagie
    • 3
  • L Fairall
    • 4
  1. 1.Centre for Health Systems Research & DevelopmentUniversity of the Free StateBloemfonteinSouth Africa
  2. 2.School of Medicine, Health Policy and PracticeUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK
  3. 3.Department of Community Health, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of the Free StateBloemfonteinSouth Africa
  4. 4.Cape Town Lung Institute, Department of MedicineUniversity of Cape TownObservatorySouth Africa

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