The psychosocial impact of HIV infection in women

A. Pergami, C. Gala, A. Burgess, F. Durbano, D. Zanello, M. Riccio, G. Invernizzi, J. Catalan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the investigation was to study the prevalence of current and past psychiatric morbidity and psychosocial problems in HIV seropositive (HIV +ve) asymptomatic women. A cross-sectional controlled study including 57 HIV +ve women belonging to CDC group II and III (43 intravenous drug users and 14 non-IVDUs heterosexuals) and 23 HIV -ve women (15 intravenous drug users and 8 non-IVDUs heterosexuals) is reported. Outcome measures included, past psychiatric history, current psychological status (Zung Anxiety and Depression scales, Symptom Check List 90-Revised), Social Supports and Locus of Control Scales, and information on changes in work, social and sexual life after HIV testing. Results showed that HIV +ve women differed very little from HIV -ve controls regarding outcome measures and indeed for some variables HIV infected women had lower levels of psychological morbidity. Multiple regression analyses showed that alcohol misuse and a predominantly external locus of control accounted for the 29% of the variance of psychiatric distress (F = 9.23, p < 0.0006). The implications of the findings are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-696
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1993


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