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J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. 2004 Sep-Oct;15(5 Suppl):20S-27S.

Quality of life in the HIV-positive patient: implications and consequences.

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  • Department of Professional Nursing, Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies, Washington, DC, USA.


Many individuals newly infected with HIV struggle with psychosocial influences, such as poverty, stigma, depression, substance abuse, domestic violence, and/or cultural beliefs, which can affect their quality of life (QoL), willingness to seek medical care, and motivation to adhere to therapy, ultimately influencing health outcomes. The Health Resources and Services Administration established the Ryan White Care Act (RWCA) to provide health care to people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH). Part F of the RWCA, the Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) Program, focuses on identifying issues affecting care for PLWH. One cohort of SPNS grantees has identified numerous needs and vulnerabilities of underserved HIV-infected patients and supports the development of innovative HIV/AIDS ancillary services for them. In this article, a review of the underlying psychosocial sequelae of HIV infection and their impact on QoL is presented, and recommendations for providers to assist in improving the QoL of PLWH are discussed.

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