Epidemiology of depressive disorders in people living with HIV in Africa: A systematic review and meta-analysis: Burden of depression in HIV in Africa


OBJECTIVE: The burden of HIV infection is higher in Africa where 70% of people living with HIV (PLHIV) resides. Since depression can negatively impact the course of HIV infection, it is therefore important to accurately estimate its burden among PLHIV in the continent. METHODS: We searched multiple databases to identify articles published between January 2000 and February 2018, reporting the prevalence of (major) depressive disorders in PLHIV residing in Africa. We used a random-effects meta-analysis model to pool studies. RESULTS: Overall, 118 studies (60,476 participants, 19 countries) were included. There was no publication bias. The overall prevalence estimates of depressive disorders and probable major depressive disorders were 36.5% (95% CI 32.3-41.0; 101 studies) and 14.9% (12.1-17.9; 55 studies) respectively. The heterogeneity of the overall prevalence of depressive disorders was significantly explained by screening tool used, period (higher prevalence in recent studies) and distribution in sub-regions. The study setting, site, CD4 cell counts, age, sex, proportion of people with undetectable viral load were not sources of heterogeneity. CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that more than one third of PLHIV face depressive disorders and half of them having major form, with heterogeneous distribution in the continent. As such, depressive disorders deserve more attention from HIV healthcare providers for improved detection and overall proper management


Bigna JJ, Tounouga DN, Kenne AM, Djikeussi TK, Foka AJ, Um LN, Asangbeh SL, Sibetcheu AT, Kaze AD, Ndangang MS, Nansseu JR




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Treatment
  • Mental Health
    • Depression


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