TitleEconomic and Quality of Life Outcomes of Antiretroviral Therapy for HIV/AIDS in Developing Countries: a Systematic Literature Review
AuthorsBeard J., Feeley F., Rosen S.
PublicationAIDS Care. 2009 Dec; 21(11):1343-56.
AbstractThe impacts of antiretroviral therapy (ART) on quality of life, mental health, labor productivity, and economic wellbeing for people living with HIV/AIDS in developing countries are only beginning to be measured. We conducted a systematic literature review to analyze the effect of ART on these economic and quality of life indicators in developing countries and assess the state of research on these topics. We searched Ovid/Medline, PubMed, Psych Info, Web of Science, Google Scholar, and the abstract database of the International AIDS Society Conference and the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. Both qualitative and quantitative studies were included, as were peer-reviewed articles, gray literature, and conference abstracts and presentations. Findings are reported from 21 publications, including 14 full-length articles, six abstracts, and one presentation (representing 16 studies). Compared to HIV-positive patients not yet on treatment, patients on ART reported significant improvements in physical, emotional and mental health, and daily function. Work performance improved and absenteeism decreased, with the most dramatic changes occurring in the first three months of treatment and then leveling off. Little research has been done on the impact of ART on household wellbeing, with modest changes in child and family wellbeing within households where adults are receiving ART reportrd so far. Most studies from developing countries have not yet assessed economic and quality of life outcomes of therapy beyond the first year; therefore, longitudinal outcomes are still unknown. Findings were limited geographically, with an emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa and adult treatment. As ART roll out extends throughout high HIV prevalence, low-resource countries and is sustained over years and decades, research on pediatric and differential gender economic and quality of life outcomes will become increasingly urgent, as will systematic evaluation of ART programs.
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