Depression and its predictors among people living with HIV/AIDS on antiretroviral therapy

Rudramma J., Jannatbi Iti


Background: HIV infection is one of the raising public health problems. HIV diagnosis is usually associated with stigma and often results in mental illness among the people infected. Depression is the most common mental illness in HIV patients as found by various studies. Hence the present study aimed to determine the proportion of depression and its socio-demographic and clinical predictors among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA).

Methods: A hospital based cross sectional study was done among 322 PLHA on Antiretroviral therapy attending ART centre at GIMS Teaching Hospital, Gadag. After taking written informed consent from the patients, a predesigned proforma which included socio-demographic variables, clinical details, and CD-4 count, along with patient health questionnaire (PHQ) 9 was administered to assess depression in PLHA.

Results: Out of the 322 people living with HIV/AIDS, 108 (33.5%) had depressed. According to PHQ 9 questionnaire, 19.9% had mild depression, 10.6% moderate depression and 3.1% had moderate severe depression. It was noted that 40.3% of females had depression compared to 24.8% of males. PHLA who were on ART for less than one year had higher proportion of depression (61.1%) compared to those with 5 years duration of ART (28.6%) and it was statistically significant.

Conclusions: In the study 33.5% of PHLA had depression. Socio-economic status, gender, duration of ART had significant association with depression whereas age, education, place of residence, CD4 count were not associated with depression. Depression screening among PHLA can be done at regular follows ups at ART centres.


Depression, PLHA, ART, PHQ 9

Full Text:



Bhatia MS, Munjal S. Prevalence of depression in people living with HIV/AIDS Undergoing ART and factors associated with it. J Clin Diagn Res. 2014;8:1-4.

State fact sheets, March 2014, NACO, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. Available at: Accessed on 15 January 2017

Kaneez S. Depression and coping mechanism among HIV/AIDS patients under anti-retroviral therapy. Indian J Soc Psychiatry. 2016;32:149-53.

Bhat AG, Babu R, Abhishekh HA. Prevalence of depression among HIV patients on antiretroviral therapy: A study from India. Asian J Psychiatr. 2013;6:249-50.

Tesfaw G, Ayano G, Awoke T, Assefa D, Birhanu Z, Miheretie G, Abebe G. Prevalence and correlates of depression and anxiety among patients with HIV on-follow up at Alert Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. BMC Psychiatry. 2016;16(1):368.

Obadeji A, Ogunlesi AO, Adebowale TO. Prevalence and predictors of depression in people living with HIV/AIDS attending an outpatient clinic in Nigeria. Iran Psychiatry Behave Sci. 2014;8(1):26-31.

Rai P, Verma BL. A study on depression in people living with HIV/AIDS in South-West Uttar Pradesh, India. South East Asian J Public Health 2015;5:12-7.

Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (Phq-9). Available at: screener. Accessed on 18 December 2017.

Kavya R, Badiger S. Depression and anxiety among people living with HIV in a coastal city of Karnataka. Int J Community Med Public Health. 2018;5:2931-4.

Kroenke K, Spitzer RL, Williams JB. The PHQ-9: Validity of a brief depression severity measure. J Gen Intern Med. 2001;16:606-13.

Operational Guidelines for ART Centers May 2008. NACO, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. Available at: Accessed on 15 July 2017.

Algoodkar S, Kidangazhiathmana A, Rejani PP, Shaji KS. Prevalence and factors associated with depression among clinically stable people living with HIV/AIDS on antiretroviral therapy. Indian J Psychol Med. 2017;39:789-93.

Alvi Y, Khalique N, Ahmad A, Khan H, Faizi N. Prevalence of depression among HIV-positive patients treated with antiretrovirals at different stage of infection. HIV & AIDS Review. Int J HIV-Related Problems. 2018;17(4):243-8.

Chandra PS, Desai G, Ranjan S. HIV & psychiatric disorders. Indian J Med Res. 2005;121(4): 451-467.

Dhadphale M, Ellison RH, Griffin L. The frequency of psychiatric disorders among patients attending semi-urban and rural general Outpatient clinics in Kenya. British J Psychiatr. 1983;142:379-83.

Deshmukh NN, Borkar AM, Deshmukh JS. Depression and its associated factors among people living with HIV/AIDS: Can it affect their quality of life? J Family Med Prim Care. 2017;6:549-53.

Khan MA, Sharma S. Socio-demographic and clinical profile of People Living with HIV/AIDS. Asian J Med Sci. 2012;3:1-10.