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AIDS Care. 2005 Jan;17(1):10-22.

Quality of life in HIV-infected individuals receiving antiretroviral therapy is related to adherence.

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Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York, USA.


This study assesses changes in quality of life (QoL) over time among HIV-infected individuals receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) and evaluates how this relates to ARTadherence. Prospective, longitudinal data were examined from 1050 participants in two large, randomized, multi-centre antiretroviral clinical trials. QoL was assessed by the SF-12; adherence by the Terry Beirn Community Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS Antiretroviral Medication Self-report. Participants included 20% women, 53% African Americans, 16% Latinos; mean age was 39 years; mean baseline CD4+ cell count 230 cells/mm3; 89% were ART-naïve at entry. Baseline physical and mental health summary QoL scores were 45.4 and 42.9, comparable to scores reported in other advanced HIV populations. Significant improvements in mean QoL scores were seen for the group as a whole after 1 to 4 months on new ART regimens, and persisted for 12 months. Participants reporting 100% ART adherence achieved significantly higher QoL scores at 12 months compared to those with poorer adherence, particularly if 100% adherence was consistent (p < 0.001). Those with at least 80% ART adherence had smaller gains in QoL at 12 months when compared to baseline, while those with < 80% adherence had worsening of QoL. In this analysis, ART adherence was associated with improved QoL, particularly if adherence was sustained.

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