Both alcohol use and depression are associated with increased disengagement from antiretroviral therapy for patients with HIV in South Africa, according to the results of a recent study published in PLoS ONE.
In this prospective cohort study, 136 people living with HIV in South Africa who were initiating antiretroviral therapy were enrolled. Anxiety and depression were measured with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and alcohol use disorder was evaluated with the CAGE questionnaire. Researchers also measured internalized stigma and quality of life in participants. The associations between mental health variables and 6-month retention in care and viral suppression were evaluated.