We sought to assess mental health at the time of antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation and subsequent retention in care over a six-month follow-up period. A total of 136 people living with HIV in South Africa were administered surveys measuring demographic information and mental health indicators at the time of ART initiation. Follow-up was completed via chart abstraction to assess for six-month outcomes of retention in care and viral suppression. At enrollment, 45/136 (33%), 67/136 (49%), and 45/136 (33%) participants screened positive for depression, anxiety, and alcohol use disorder, respectively. After six months of followup, 96/136 (71%) participants remained in care; 35/87 (40.2%) participants who remained in care had a level <50 copies/mL. Those with depression (49% vs. 77% retained; p < 0.01) and those with alcohol use disorder (52% vs. 76% retained; p < 0.01) were less likely to be retained in care. In multivariable logistic regression, depression OR 3.46 (95% CI: 1.33, 7.97; p < 0.01) and alcohol abuse OR 3.89 (95% CI: 1.70, 8.97; p < 0.01) were independently associated with loss from care. These results emphasize the importance of mental health on early ART outcomes and the HIV care continuum.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)