Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - High levels of anxiety among HIV outpatients

High levels of anxiety among HIV outpatients

People gather around the doorway of a medical clinic in Battambang to receive HIV test results in 2014.
People gather around the doorway of a medical clinic in Battambang to receive HIV test results in 2014. Heng Chivoan

High levels of anxiety among HIV outpatients

The vast majority of people undergoing treatment for HIV and AIDS in Cambodia reported suffering anxiety, according to a new quality of life survey.

The report, published in the journal AIDS Care this week, used a World Health Organization measure to survey 150 outpatients undertaking antiretroviral therapy for HIV.

Some 72 per cent of interviewees reported they suffered anxiety, while more than a quarter said they had depression. The report highlighted that people living with HIV often had a deteriorated quality of life due to virus symptoms, medication side effects and social stigma.

“The association of poor [quality of life] with abnormal depression and anxiety clearly indicates the need to identify these psychiatric comorbidities early among [people living with HIV and AIDS],” the report read.

It found quality of life was lower among people over the age of 40 and those with incomes of less than $300 per month. Unlike studies conducted elsewhere in the world, the survey found Cambodian women with HIV fared better than men.

Study author Dr Youngran Yang said the survey focused on outpatients, who have less severe symptoms and a better quality of life than hospitalised patients, and stressed that those who go without treatment would experience a poorer quality of life.

Ly Penh Sun, director of the National Centre for HIV/AIDS, Dermatology and STD Control, said he observed anxiety in many patients, who feared they would pass on the infection to their loved ones.

While the stigma “really touched” people with HIV, he said, their quality of life generally improved with treatment, as they could work again and bolster their income.

MOST VIEWED

  • Reuters: US Embassy fired 32 staff members for sharing pornography

    The United States Embassy in Phnom Penh has fired 32 non-diplomatic staff members who were allegedly caught exchanging pornographic images and video, including of minors, according to the news agency Reuters. Four sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the content was shared in

  • Our 2018 guide to spending Khmer New Year in Phnom Penh

    Khmer New Year festivities are upon us. For the next few days, travellers will be making their way to their home provinces to eat, celebrate, play traditional games and visit a pagoda with offerings. If you will be staying put in Phnom Penh for the

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the