Levels of ability and functioning of persons living with HIV and AIDS using the WHO DAS II in a South African context
The study aimed to explore the relationships between socio-demographic variables and the domains of ability and functioning of the World Health Organisation Disability Assessment Schedule. The sample was made up of 607 persons living with HIV (PLHIV) in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Convenience sampling was used to identify participants. The results indicate that 66% classified themselves as having AIDS, 48% indicated that they were on ART, and 35% reported that they were currently on disability grant. Specific disability domains’ most affected among PLHIV included household activities, participation in society and mobility. The disease variables of lower CD4 counts and higher frequency of HIV symptoms, were associated with overall disability, while AIDS diagnosis and being on ART were principally not associated with disability. Most socio-demographic variables including disability grant status, age and marital status were not associated with overall disability, while lower educational level and not having a flush toilet, were associated with higher overall disability.
KEYWORDS: Levels of disability, WHODAS II, disease variables, socio-economic variables, persons living with HIV, South Africa