Comorbidity and Coinfection among People Living with HIV/AIDS:The Experiences of an Australian Sample
Richard de Visser, Douglas Ezzy and Michael Bartos
Australian Journal of Primary Health
6(1) 48 - 56
Previous research on comorbidity among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) has focused on the consequences for disease progression. The research reported here examines the broader public health implications of comorbidity. A sample of 925 Australian PLWHA completed a self-administered questionnaire. Comorbid conditions were reported by 28% of respondents. The most common conditions included hepatitis C, psychological/psychiatric conditions, cardiovascular disease, and lung conditions. In addition, 27% of those tested for Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) were coinfected with HCV. Comorbid PLWHA reported poorer health and were more likely to experience side-effects from antiretroviral medication. Comorbid PLWHA were also more likely to be unemployed, to live in poverty, to experience financial difficulty, and to rely on HIV/AIDS service organisations for a range of services. This study highlights the added pressures placed on individuals and HIV/AIDS service organisations by comorbidity and coinfection among PLWHA. The present study is relevant not only to the experiences of PLWHA - it may be an example of the difficulties confronted by people living with multiple major health conditions.
Full text doi:10.1071/PY00005
© La Trobe University 2000