Correlates of Fatigue Among South African Adolescents Living with HIV and Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy
Fatigue among adolescents living with HIV is poorly understood. In this study, we examined the relationships between fatigue and demographic and psychosocial variables to further the understanding of the symptom experience and associated factors. We recruited consecutive attenders at ART clinics in the Western Cape, South Africa (N = 134, age 11-18 years). Participants completed a battery of questionnaires including measures of fatigue, insomnia and mood disturbance. Just under a quarter (24.6%) of adolescents reported elevated levels of fatigue that affected their functioning. The linear combination of age, depression, and insomnia explained 40.6% of the variance in fatigue. Amongst adolescents with HIV, fatigue seems a problematic symptom associated with poor sleep and mood disturbance. Timely identification and management of these potentially disabling symptoms are needed to attain better health outcomes and retention in care in this group. Interventions aimed at ameliorating these symptoms are needed.