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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Physical and mental health of rural southern Indian women living with AIDS.

  • Author(s): Nyamathi, A
  • Heravian, A
  • Salem, B
  • Suresh, P
  • Sinha, S
  • Ganguly, K
  • Carpenter, C
  • Ramakrishnan, P
  • Marfisee, M
  • Liu, Y
  • et al.

The purpose of this descriptive study is to highlight the physical and mental health symptoms of 68 rural women living with AIDS (WLA) in India, their compliance to antiretroviral therapy (ART) medication, and barriers to accessing health care within the past 6 months. Physical and mental health status was obtained by self-report, administered by questionnaire and physician-determined clinical assessment, as well as selected objective parameters. Findings revealed that while rural WLA had been on antiretroviral therapy for just under 2 years, they self-reported a high prevalence of physical symptoms, and more than half reported high levels of depressive symptoms and major barriers to accessing health care. CD4 levels, body weight, and basal metabolic rate were also low. While the rural and urban WLA faced similar health care challenges, the demographic characteristics of the rural women may make them more vulnerable, as they are less adherent to ART and slimmer than their urban counterparts.

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