205575 Loneliness and HIV-related stigma explain depression among older HIV-positive adults

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 8:30 AM

Christian Grov, PhD, MPH , Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences, Brooklyn College - CUNY, New York, NY
Sarit A. Golub, PhD, MPH , Department of Psychology, Hunter College, City University of New York, New York, NY
Jeffrey T. Parsons, PhD , Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training (CHEST), Hunter College, New York, NY
Mark Brennan, PhD , AIDS Community Research initiative of America (ACRIA), New York, NY
Stephen Karpiak, PhD , AIDS Community Research Initiative of America, New York, NY
Background: Advances in the treatment of HIV have resulted in a large growing population of older adults with HIV. These aging adults face added social, psychological, and physical challenges associated with managing the process of aging in addition to their HIV disease. Meanwhile, these factors can significantly impact quality of life. Though researchers have demonstrated correlations between depression, loneliness, health, and HIV/AIDS-related stigma, there has been little evaluation of these associations among HIV-positive adults over the age of 50.

Methods: Data for these analyses were taken from the Research on Older Adults with HIV (ROAH) study of 914 New York City-based HIV-positive men and women over the age of 50.

Results: In total, 39.1% of participants exhibited symptoms of major depression (CES-D > 23). Multivariate modeling successfully explained 42% of the variance in depression, with depression being significantly related to increased HIV-associated stigma, increased loneliness, decreased cognitive functioning, reduced levels of energy, and being younger.

Conclusion: These data underscore the need for service providers and researchers to assert more aggressive and innovative efforts to resolve both psychosocial and physical health issues that characterize the graying of the AIDS epidemic in the United States. Data suggest that focusing efforts to reduce HIV-related stigma and loneliness may have lasting effects in reducing major depressive symptoms and improving perceived health.

Learning Objectives:
Identify the prevalence of depression in HIV positive adults. Describe the association between loneliness, HIV-related stigma, and depression among older adults with HIV. Discuss the role of perceived health in major depressive symptoms among older adults with HIV.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Depression

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am lead author on the study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.