HIV stigma and depressive symptoms are related to adherence and virological response to antiretroviral treatment among immigrant and indigenous HIV infected patients.AIDS Behav. 2012 Aug; 16(6):1681-9.AB
We compared adherence to cART and virological response between indigenous and immigrant HIV-infected patients in the Netherlands, and investigated if a possible difference was related to a difference in the psychosocial variables: HIV-stigma, quality-of-life, depression and beliefs about medications. Psychosocial variables were assessed using validated questionnaires administered during a face-to-face interview. Adherence was assessed trough pharmacy-refill monitoring. We assessed associations between psychosocial variables and non-adherence and having detectable plasma viral load using logistic regression analyses. Two-hundred-two patients participated of whom 112 (55%) were immigrants. Viral load was detectable in 6% of indigenous patients and in 15% of the immigrants (P < 0.01). In multivariate analyses, higher HIV-stigma and prior virological failure were associated with non-adherence, and depressive symptoms, prior virological failure and non-adherence with detectable viral load. Our findings suggest that HIV-stigma and depressive symptoms may be targets for interventions aimed at improving adherence and virological response among indigenous and immigrant HIV-infected patients.