“A Double Stress”: The Mental Health Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic Among People Living with HIV in Rakai, Uganda

N. S. West, W. Ddaaki, N. Nakyanjo, D. Isabirye, R. Nakubulwa, F. Nalugoda, J. Kagaayi, C. E. Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic for people living with HIV are poorly understood, especially in low-income settings. We conducted qualitative semi-structured in-depth interviews among people living with HIV (n = 16) and health workers (n = 10) in rural Rakai, southcentral Uganda. Data were analyzed thematically. We found mental stress during COVID-19 was compounded by worry about antiretroviral therapy (ART) access, distress over inadvertent disclosure of HIV status, fear that coronavirus infection would have more severe outcomes for immunocompromised individuals, and exacerbated poverty and economic stress. Mental health support for people living with HIV deserves greater attention during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAIDS and behavior
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Distress
  • HIV
  • Mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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