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Title:Psychological Distress in the First Year after Diagnosis of HIV Infection among Women in South Africa
Author:Olley, Benjamin O.
Periodical:African Journal of AIDS Research
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:mental health
Health, Nutrition, and Medicine
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.2989/16085900609490381
Abstract:One hundred and five HIV-positive black and coloured women were studied as they reported for follow-up health management at the outpatient clinic for infectious diseases at Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. They were assessed at baseline and 51 returned for a follow-up interview six months later. Assessments involved use of the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), the Carver Brief COPE, and the Sheehan Disability Scale. Negative life events and risk behaviours were also evaluated. Fifty-nine women were diagnosed with at least one psychiatric disorder on the MINI at baseline. The most frequent diagnosis was major depression, followed by dysthymic disorder. A diagnosis of HIV or AIDS exacerbated the premorbid state of 19 percent of the women who reported a past history of depression. Twelve women were at risk for suicide, while 19 percent met criteria for a clinical diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and 6.7 percent met the diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorders. At follow-up, 26 were diagnosed with at least a psychiatric disorder. Eleven met the criteria for major depression, while eight had a past history of depression. The number of women with PTSD increased from 19 percent of the total sample at baseline to 29.4 percent of those interviewed at follow-up. Conversely, the number with dysthymia dramatically decreased from 24 women at baseline to just one woman at follow-up. The number displaying suicidality also decreased from 12 at baseline to four at follow-up. At both baseline and follow-up, the number and impact of negative life events increased the likelihood of major depression persisting or recurring, but this association was not found for PTSD. These findings indicate that, over time, there is variability in psychiatric morbidity among coloured and black African women living with HIV and that a high number of negative life events may increase the likelihood of persistent major depression in these women. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]