142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

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Violence exposure, Depression symptoms and Quality of life in a group of women living with HIV, compared to HIV negative controls and women with chronic conditions

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Lyllymar Colon, MPHE , School of Psychology, Carlos Albizu University, San Juan, PR
Jose Martinez, PhD , School of Psychology, Carlos Albizu University, San Juan, PR
Sean Sayers, PhD , Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Wildelis Rivera, BA , Carlos Albizu University, San Juan, PR
Carmen N. Velez-Santori, Post Doct, PhD , Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Puerto Rico-Medical Sciences Campus, Graduate School of Public Health, San Juan, PR
Carmen Zorrilla, MD , School of Medicine, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, PR
Introduction: Violence against women is now globally recognized to be a serious public health and human rights issue. Growing evidence links the HIV epidemic with violence experiences.  Women battle with social and medical stressors which can affect their physical and emotional health particularly when exposed/infected with HIV. The purpose of this study is to describe the presence of depressive symptomatology, the exposure to violence, and the quality of life of women living with HIV.

Method: A case-control study included 30 Puerto Rican women (10 HIV+, 10 HIV-, and 10 with type 2 Diabetes), ages 21-64 years. Instruments administered were a sociodemographic questionnaire, CES-D, and SF-36v2. Chi-square tests were used to assess statistical differences among categorical data.

Results: Women living with HIV report more lifetime violence (100%) compared  to type 2 diabetes (50%) and the control group (60%) [χ2 (2)=6.67,p=.04,r=.47] and lower Mental Health Scores on the SF-36v2 (HIV:45.23±11.47; Diabetes:46.69±10.55). All HIV+ women had experienced emotional violence (100%). Both groups with chronic illness (Diabetes and HIV) had similar mean scores on the CES-D (HIV:36.30; Diabetes:36.10).

Conclusion: Women living with HIV experience gender-based violence which can affect their quality of life specially their mental health. As well, they face additional stressors, such as biopsychosocial factors, that can affect their adherence to medical treatment as well as their emotional and physical health. Biomedical and coping interventions should be addressed in order to facilitate equitable access for women to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify types of violence that women living with HIV are exposed. Compare the Quality of Life and depression symptomatology of women with HIV, Type 2 Diabetes and women without any condition.

Keyword(s): Women and HIV/AIDS, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working with HIV and related topics for the last 8 years. Currently, I am part of the Puerto Rico Mentoring Institute for HIV and Mental Health Research. The work I am submitting is part of my doctoral dissertation at Carlos Albizu University.
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.

Back to: 4280.0: People Living with HIV/AIDS