Depression among Women Living with HIV Underdiagnosed

10 October 2017

A study by Department of Psychiatry, Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), has revealed depression among women living with HIV in north Karnataka remains under-diagnosed and under-treated and has negative impact on adherence and immunity, leading to rapid progression of the infection. According to Dr. Shivanand B. Hiremath, one of the researchers of the study, the aim was to assess the prevalence and socio-demographic correlates of depression such as social support, and quality of life among women living with HIV so that programmes for prevention, early diagnosis and treatment can be designed.

Of the 145 chosen for the study, 50 women (34.5%) were found to have clinical depression, with 27 (54%) having mild, 21 (42%) moderate, and 2 (4%) having severe depression. Of those suffering from depression, 29 (58%) were from rural areas and 21 (42%) from urban areas.

“Depression was statistically significant in women from rural background. Significant association between depression and risk of social isolation was observed. Scores of all domains of Quality of Living (i.e. physical, psychological, social, and environmental) were reducing with increase in severity of depression,” Dr. Hiremath said.

“Early diagnosis and treatment of depression is crucial,” Dr. Hiremath said, adding that subsequent follow-up and treatment had improved the quality of life of patients in the study.

Read the full article online here.