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Depression and HIV Care-seeking Behaviors in a Population-based Sample in North West Province, South Africa.

  • Darbes, Lynae
  • Gilvydis, Jennifer
  • Morris, Jessica
  • Raphela, Elsie
  • Naidoo, Evasen
  • Grignon, Jessica
  • Barnhart, Scott
  • Lippman, Sheri
  • El Ayadi, Alison
Publication Date
Nov 07, 2023
eScholarship - University of California
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Depression is associated with key HIV-related prevention and treatment behaviors in sub-Saharan Africa. We aimed to identify the association of depressive symptoms with HIV testing, linkage to care, and ART adherence among a representative sample of 18-49 year-olds in a high prevalence, rural area of South Africa. Utilizing logistic regression models (N = 1044), depressive symptoms were inversely associated with reported ever HIV testing (AOR 0.92, 95% CI 0.85-0.99; p = 0.04) and ART adherence (AOR 0.82, 95% CI: 0.73-0.91; p < 0.01) among women. For men, depressive symptoms were positively associated with linkage to care (AOR: 1.21, 95% CI: 1.09-1.34; p < 0.01). Depression may adversely impact ART adherence for HIV-positive women and reduce the likelihood of HIV testing for women not aware of their HIV status which, in settings with high HIV prevalence, carries severe consequences. For HIV-positive men, findings suggest that depression may encourage help-seeking behavior, thereby impacting their health system interactions. These findings underscore the need for health-care settings to factor mental health, such as depression, into their programs to address health-related outcomes, particularly for women.

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