Psychosocial health of an African group before awareness of HIV status: a comparative study
Wissing, Marié P.
Watson, Mada J.
Ellis, Suria M.
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This study aimed to explore the psychosocial health profiles of people with and without HIV before they learned their Infection status. A total of 1,025 participants (males = 386, females = 639, age range = between 32 and 87, infected = 153) completed questionnaires on psychosocial well-being and were tested for HIV. Participants who were infected with HIV had a lower sense of coherence and a lower capacity to succeed in joint community activities than the participants infected with HIV. Some differences were detected between rural and urban areas. It is concluded that mental health and quality of life may be compromised in some ways even before HIV status is known and overt symptoms of infection noticed. Proactive interventions on community level to promote mental health and prevent problems are suggested focusing amongst others on coping skills, relationship building, and finding meaning and engagement in community activities