Prevalence and factors associated with depression in HIV/AIDS patients aged 15–25 years at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Nigeria

  • Shehu Sale Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Red Cross War Memorial Children Hospital, Klipfontein Road, Rondebosch 7700, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Muktar Gadanya Department of Community Medicine, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Zaria Road, PMB 3452, Kano, Nigeria


Objective: The objective of the study is to determine the prevalence and factors associated with depression in HIV/AIDS patients aged 15–25 years in Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria.
Method: The study is descriptive and cross-sectional, and was carried out over a period of 16 weeks at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. The study population included HIV/AIDS patients in the age bracket admitted into the hospital's medical wards, and those attending the HIV/AIDS clinic. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HAD) was administered to the respondents to screen for depression. Those who scored 8 and above were assessed clinically for depression using the International Classification of Disease Version 10 (ICD-10), and their depression classified into mild, moderate and severe. The severity of the depression of this group of patients was again classified as mild, moderate and severe using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS).
Result: Of the respondents, 39.91% were found to be depressed, with stage of the disease, inability to afford medication, unemployment, lack of social support, inability to tolerate HAART and other drugs in the management of HIV, and CD4 cell (Cluster of Differentiation 4 T-lymphocytes subgroup, the cells specifically targeted by HIV) count level found to be associated with depression.
Conclusion: Depression is a highly prevalent disorder in the study subjects. Based on these findings, it is recommended that a comprehensive psychiatric treatment strategy should be initiated using a biopsychosocial framework that includes psychopharmacological and psychotherapeutic intervention to reduce morbidity and mortality in affected patients.

Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health 2008, 20(2): 95–99

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eISSN: 1728-0591
print ISSN: 1728-0583