Psychological and social impact of HIV on women living with HIV and their families in low- and middle-income Asian countries: A systematic search and critical review


Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection adds a significant burden to women in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs), often leading to severe detrimental impact, not only on themselves, but also on their families and communities. Given that more than half of all people living with HIV globally are females (53%), this review seeks to understand the psychological and social impact of HIV infection on Women Living with HIV (WLHIV) and their families in LMICs in Asia, and the interrelationships between one impact and another. A systematic review was conducted to find literature using the following databases: Medline, PsycINFO, CINAL, Emcare, Scopus and ProQuest. Research articles included in this review were selected based on the following inclusion criteria: conducted in LMICs in Asia, published in English language between 1 January 2004 and 31 December 2021, had full text available, involved WLHIV (married and unmarried) and explored the psychological and social impacts of HIV on these women and their families. Critical appraisal tools developed by Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) were used to assess the methodological quality of the studies, and thematic narrative synthesis was used to analyse the findings. A total of 17 articles met the inclusion criteria. The review showed that HIV has a range of negative psychological consequences on WLHIV, such as stress, fear, worry, anxiety and depression, as well as social impacts on the women and their families, including stigma, discrimination and family separation. The findings indicate the need for targeted interventions-specific to WLHIV-that address the psychological challenges, stigma and discrimination these women and their families face. These interventions should also incorporate education and sustainable support structures for WLHIV and their families.


Fauk NK, Mwanri L, Hawke K, Mohammadi L, Ward PR




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Determinants of Health
  • Determinants of Health
    • Income
    • Social support
    • Stigma/discrimination
  • Population(s)
    • Women
    • General HIV+ population
  • Mental Health
    • Psychiatric disorders


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