Main Article Content

Assessment of Markers of Depression and CD4 Cell Count among Adult HIV-Positive Patients on Anti-Retroviral at a Nigerian University Teaching Hospital

A. Amoko
P.O. Ajiboye
F.A. Olagunju
R.O. Shittu


Objective: Depression is a common mental health problem among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA); because low count of lymphocytes with  cluster of differentiation 4 (CD4 cell count) is associated with severe symptoms of HIV infection, there are thoughts that low CD4 cells count can provoke depressive illness. This study was conducted to determine the relationship between CD4 count and depression among adult HIV positive
patients attending Family Medicine clinics at University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Ilorin, Nigeria.
Method: A hospital based descriptive cross-sectional study was done over a period of 6 months among 350 systematically randomly selected adult HIV-positive patients. PHQ-9 was used to obtain information on depression and the CD4 count was determined using a flow-cytometric method. Data were obtained and analyzed using SPSS-17. Chi-square was used to determine degree of association between the depression and the level of CD4 count. P-value of < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: The prevalence of depression among the respondents was 33.4%. The prevalence of depression was highest among respondents with low CD4 count (≤349cells/ul), 37.0%, and least among those with high CD4 count (≥500cells/ul), 28.3%. This relationship was however not statistically significant.
Conclusion: The overall prevalence of depression was high among the respondents (33.4%) suggesting the need for routine depression screening among HIV positive patients. There was no statistically significant association between presence of depression and level of CD4 count (p-value=0.302).

Keywords: Depression, CD4count, PLWHA, Family Medicine, UITH.