Prevalence of psychological distress among people living with HIV/AIDS: A systematic review and meta-analysis


Although people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) are known to be vulnerable to psychological distress (PD), little is known about the prevalence of PD among PLWHA. A systematic literature search of several databases was conducted from inception to August 2021 focusing on studies reporting on PD symptoms among PLWHA. The overall prevalence estimates were pooled using a random-effects meta-analysis. Differences according to study-level characteristics were examined using stratified meta-analysis. We pooled and analyzed data from 15 studies comprising 5593 PLWHA. The prevalence rate of PD among PLWHA was 43.7% (95% Confidence Interval: 29.9–57.5%). Subgroup analyses by gender, country, CD4 count, employment status and ever attended school found no statistically significant differences in the prevalence of PD. Heterogeneity in the prevalence of PD among PLWHA was partially explained by the assessment tool. Further large-scale studies of high quality are warranted to identify risk factors of PD in PLWHA in their respective socio-cultural contexts.


Ma H, Zhu F, Zhai H, Ma Y, Liu Y, Wang S, Xu Y




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Mental Health
    • Psychiatric disorders


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