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PLoS One. 2013 May 31;8(5):e64562. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0064562. Print 2013.

Quality of life of people living with HIV/AIDS under the new epidemic characteristics in China and the associated factors.

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Department of Environmental Health, School of Public Health, China Medical University, Shenyang, Liaoning, PR China.



Improvement of quality of life has been one of goals in health care for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). In China, the epidemic characteristics have changed and transmission is now most commonly sexual contact. However, the assessment of quality of life of PLWHA under new characteristics has limited reporting. This study was designed to assess the quality of life among PLWHA who contracted disease mainly via sexual contact and to clarify the associated factors.


A cross-sectional study was performed in Liaoning Province. Sample size (800) was calculated based on the fatality rate and enlarged with consideration on the loss of response. Participants were sampled by tables of random numbers among all registered PLWHA. Questionnaires pertaining to quality of life (SF-36) and related factors (demographic characteristics, social support and network, HIV/AIDS awareness, and behavior factors) were distributed during December 2010-April 2011. 783 effective responses were obtained.


The average scores of physical component summary (PCS), mental component summary (MCS), and total score (TS) were 66.8±21.9 (Mean±SD), 62.2±20.9, and 64.5±20.2. General linear model analysis revealed that, in standardized estimate (β) sequence, PCS was significantly associated with monthly income, perceived social support, antiretroviral therapy, transmission, and ethnicity; MCS was associated with perceived social support, antiretroviral therapy, condom use, monthly income, transmission, ethnicity, and alcohol consumption; whereas TS was associated with perceived social support, antiretroviral therapy, monthly income, transmission, condom use, and ethnicity.


Quality of life for PLWHA who contracted HIV mainly via sexual contact was worse and both physical conditions and social integration were impacted. Under current epidemic characteristics, efforts to increase social support and enhance the implementation of supporting policy are necessary to improve the quality of life of PLWHA.

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