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Social support as a correlate of depression among people living with HIV and AIDS in Nigeria

Dorothy Ebere Adimora
Francisca Ngozi Ogba
Monica Obiageli Omeje
Fidelis Eze Amaeze
Friday Mamudu Adene


Background: Depression is a highly prevalent mental disorder among PLHIV, whilst social support is important in disease prevention, health promotion, therapeutic measure especially for PLHIV.

Objectives: To ascertain the different types and sources of social support and their association with depression among PLHIV in Nigeria.

Materials and Methods: The study was a correlation with 2515 PLHIV in three teaching hospitals in South-Eastern Nige- ria. Data were collected between January to June, 2019 through interviews, using socio-demographic and Clinical Form and a Social Support Scale for PLHIV. SPSS-20 used for data analysis.

Results: It was shown that average scores of instrumental and emotional social supports (IESS) were satisfactory and not influenced by sex (p = 0.894; p = 0.496), education (p = 0.805; p = 0.182), marital status (p = 0.076; p = 0.446) and length of antiretroviral therapy (p = 0.510; p = 0.136). People diagnosed for less than three years had more instrumental support (p = 0.05) than those diagnosed over three years. The regression score also revealed a high predictive power of IESS on depression of PLHIV.

Conclusion: PLHIV have satisfactory social support, especially from family not residing in the same household and emo- tional social support from friends. Analyses identified knowledge gaps in the community regarding the social support re- ceived by PLHIV and their depression symptoms.

Keywords: Depression; instrumental support; emotional support; HIV; AIDS.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1729-0503
print ISSN: 1680-6905