Quality of life, determinants, gender and sexual orientation
Background: It is well known that HIV/AIDS affect the quality of life of persons. The importance of acknowledging the factors that affect positive or negatively the quality of life of PLHIV/AIDS in order to contribute to the design of public policies in this area is high-lightened.
Methods: The study “Quality of Life in PLHIV” (2007) applied a survey to a representative sample of PLHIV/AIDS attended in public hospitals (409 PLHIV: 81,7% men and 18,3% women). A quality of life index for PLHIV (QLI) used for general population in the National Survey on Quality of Life (2006) was estimated.
Results: An important difference in average QLI of men and women was found: (F (1)= 9,42, p< .01): 5,35 in men and 4,95 (DS = 1,01 y 1,08) in women, the latter representing the lowest.
Determinant factors of a lower quality of life in women are associated to education (35% with less than 8 years of education), integration to labor force (41.3% do not work, 46.2% of workers without employment contract), income (per capita income less than men’s), households with more than one PLHIV (32%), exclusive playing of parental roles and psychosocial factors.
GLI calculated by sexual orientation shows that homosexuals (4.71) get better records in relation to heterosexuals (4.25): P 0.000.
Conclusions: The differential impact of HIV/AIDS is clear. Gender determines the opportunities of improving or deteriorating the quality of life and strong inequalities are found. The results according to sexual orientation emphasize the need that public policies and interventions respond considering this factor, being aware of the fact that it will determine the way that family support and social nets towards the affected person will be expressed and organized. Homosexual’s quality of life show that this group’s answer has been more effective in relation to treatment, psychosocial support and integration.
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