Illness Perception of Young Patients with HIV Infection

Manuela Arbune, Mihaela Debita, Mihai Mutica


The infection with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) has become a chronic disease due to effective antiretroviral therapy (ARVT) that can provide complete and sustained viral suppression. The perception of HIV diagnosis has changed, from “condemnation to death” to long-term survival and life expectancy similar to the general population. The HIV epidemic in Romaniais predominant in cases diagnosed in infants born in 1987-1991, with nosocomially transmission during the first years of life. The aim of our work is to assess the perceptions of the course of the disease among persons living with HIV and the influence of factors such as demographic factors, time of HIV diagnostic, immunity and viral suppression under the ARVT. The brief version of Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ) for assessment of cognitive and emotional representations of illness, comprehensibility and an inventory questionnaire scoring symptoms were applied by a cross-sectional study among patients in the Daily Clinic for HIV Evaluation and Treatment from the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Galati, Romania. The most frequent age of patients with HIV from the clinic is under 35 years and they have good knowledge about their disease. The ARVT is efficiently controlling the clinical and viral markers of disease. However, half of the respondents are emotionally affected by living with HIV. The negative perception of HIV infection is more severe among females and people with viral failure treatment, although various and even contradictory perceptions were found, according to the answers collected. The adherence support of medical teams requires personalized management of HIV patients.



HIV; illness perception; questionnaire

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