XVIII International AIDS Conference


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High prevalence of depression among patients with long term viral suppression on HAART

L.F. de Souza Moreira, L.A. Alves de Lima, G. Santoro Lopes, INDETEC

Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Infectious Diseases, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Background: Adherence is crucial for a successful antiretroviral therapy. Undetectable viral load has been used as a marker for good adherence. Untreated depression is consistently associated with poorer adherence and can be a menace for long term suppression of viral replication.
Methods: A self-report questionnaire has been applied to patients on HAART who have proved HIV viral load less than 50 copies /ml for more than two years, as part of a project called INDETEC, which aims to study adherence to HAART among patients with long term viral suppression. The 20-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) was applied as a screening test for depression. Patients were classified as non depressed, light to moderately depressed, and severely depressed, according to scores less than 16, between 16 to 21, and equal or more than 22 points, respectively.
Results: Among the first 74 adult patients on HAART enrolled and interviewed, 27% were females. Among this highly adherent and clinically stable HIV infected individuals, depression score ranged from 0 to 49; 40,5 % of the patients would be classified as depressed and 27,0% would have severe depression.
Conclusions: Attention to diagnosis and treatment of depression is warranted even among patients with long term viral suppression on stable HAART in order to prevent therapeutic failure.

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