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HIV/AIDS patients' medical and psychosocial needs in the era of HAART: a cross-sectional study among HIV/AIDS patients receiving HAART in Yunnan, China.

  • Author(s): Wen, Yi
  • Shi, Yun
  • Jiang, Chengqin
  • Detels, Roger
  • Wu, Di
  • et al.
Abstract

Since the launch of China's Free Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) Program in 2002, more than 100,000 HIV/AIDS patients have been treated with highly actively antiretroviral therapy (HAART). However, the current evaluation system for this program mainly focused on its medical outcomes. This study aims to evaluate the medical and psychosocial needs of HIV/AIDS patients after initiating HAART. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 499 HIV/AIDS patients who were currently being treated with HAART in three designated hospitals in Luxi City, Yunnan Province. A questionnaire was used to collect information about participants' demographic characteristics, perceived HIV-related stigma, physician-patient relationship, quality of life, family functioning, etc. Patients' medical records in the National HIV Information System were linked with their questionnaire by their ART identification number. Patients on HAART who were infected with HIV through injection drug use and were current smokers typically had poorer physical health than other participants on HAART. Better financial status and better physician-patient relationship were associated with both physical and psychological well-being. Family awareness of the patient's HIV status was negatively associated with the patient's psychological well-being. Higher levels of perceived HIV-related stigma were associated with poorer psychological health and poorer family functioning. This study emphasizes the importance of assuring a caring environment in China's AIDS treatment program and re-enforces the need to combat the stigma encountered with health providers and the public.

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