Differences in health-related quality of life between HIV-positive and HIV-negative people in Zambia and South Africa: a cross-sectional baseline survey of the HPTN 071 (PopART) trial

Ranjeeta Thomas, Ronelle Burger, Abigail Harper, Sarah Kanema, Lawrence Mwenge, Nosivuyile Vanqa, Nomtha Bell-Mandla, Peter C Smith, Sian Floyd, Peter Bock, Helen Ayles, Nulda Beyers, Deborah Donnell, Sarah Fidler, Richard Hayes, Katharina Hauck

The life expectancy of HIV-positive individuals receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) is approaching that of HIV-negative people. However, little is known about how these populations compare in terms of health-related quality of life (HRQoL). We aimed to compare HRQoL between HIV-positive and HIV-negative people in Zambia and South Africa.

The findings suggest that ART is successful in helping to reduce inequalities in HRQoL between HIV-positive and HIV-negative individuals in this general population sample. These findings highlight the importance of improving awareness of HIV status and expanding ART to prevent losses in HRQoL that occur with untreated HIV progression. The gains in HRQoL after individuals initiate ART could be substantial when scaled up to the population level.

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