XVIII International AIDS Conference


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Social support characteristics among a Brazilian sample of older persons living with HIV/AIDS

L. Eschiletti Prati1, M.C.P. de Paula Couto2, A. Moura2, S. Koller2

1Faculdades Integradas de Taquara - FACCAT, Curso de Psicologia, Porto Alegre, Brazil, 2CEP-Rua, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Institute of Psychology, Porto Alegre, Brazil

A worldwide increase of cases of HIV/AIDS among the population of 50 years and over has been observed. In Brazil, this is not different. When looking at numbers, Southern Brazil is the region where a higher number of cases of AIDS are reported for this population (19. 1:100.000, while the Brazilian incidence rate is 13.6). One of the protective factors well studied for HIV/AIDS is social support. This study investigated the perceived quality of social support in older persons living with HIV. A model describing quality of life and personal satisfaction as a function of education, marital status and social support in HIV-infected patients was tested. The sample (104 persons living with HIV, Mage=57; SD=5.5) was recruited in HIV/AIDS health services in three southern cities of Brazil. Participants answered about socio-demographic aspects, social support, life satisfaction, and others. Regarding marital status, 22% of the sample were single, 33.3% married, 20.2% widow and 25%,divorced. The mean of school years was of 6 years (SD=3.54). The sample reported being more satisfied with received emotional support than with received instrumental support. Emotional support predicted quality of life and personal satisfaction more than education, marital status and instrumental support. This result indicates that the quality of emotional support is an important feature that contributes to the maintenance of life satisfaction among older persons living with HIV.
Note: This work was carried out by UFRGS and CEARGS with technical and financial support of the Ministry of Health/ Secretariat of Health Surveillance/ National STD, Aids and Viral Hepatitis Programme (MOH/SHS/NAP) through the Project of Cooperation AD/BRA/03/H34 between the Brazilian Government and the UNODC. The informed consent was obtained from all individuals and the protocols were approved by the Local Commission on Ethics in Research (LCER) and National Commission on Ethics in Research - NCER (number 2007/014, in 01/10/2007).

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