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The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition
ISSN: 1606-0997
EISSN: 1606-0997
Vol. 32, No. 4, 2014, pp. 587-594
Bioline Code: hn14124
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, Vol. 32, No. 4, 2014, pp. 587-594

 en Socioepidemiologic Profile and Treatment-seeking Behaviour of HIV/AIDS Patients in a Tertiary-care Hospital in South India
Balasundaram, Abyramy; Sarkar, Sonali; Hamide, Abdoul & Lakshminarayanan, Subitha


India has the third largest number of people living with HIV/AIDS. Provision of free antiretroviral therapy (ART) for eligible persons living with HIV (PLHA) has been scaled up significantly both in terms of facilities for treatment and number of beneficiaries. This study aimed at describing the profile of HIV/AIDS patients on ART from a tertiary-care hospital and to explore the factors associated with treatment-seeking behaviour, family support, and perceptions regarding HIV and ART. This is a descriptive study conducted at the ART centre in a tertiary-care hospital in Puducherry. Study population consisted of 130 HIV-positive patients aged more than 18 years on free firstline ART for at least 6 months. Data on sociodemographic details, clinical details, treatment-seeking behaviour, family support, and perceptions regarding HIV and ART were collected using a pretested questionnaire. Data are presented as percentages. In total, 130 patients on ART for at least 6 months were included in the study—61% were males (n=79), 39% were females (n=51); half of them belonged to the age-group of 36-50 years. Half of the participants were diagnosed to have HIV/AIDS between 1 and 3 year(s); two-thirds had one or more co-infection(s). The majority were aware of the side-effects of ART. After advice to start ART, there was a delay in starting treatment in one-fifth of the subjects due to depression, fear of stigma, disclosure to family, and side-effects. More than two-thirds of the patients travelled more than 30 km distance. Families of HIV-positive subjects were supportive in accompanying to the ART centre, collecting drugs, reminders to take medication, and motivation to complete the treatment. Alcohol (50%) and tobacco consumption (39%) was common among the subjects. Half of the respondents stated stigma, death, and pain as the main fears, and all of them stated high levels of trust and rapport with their doctors. This study reveals several positive aspects among ART beneficiaries. However, issues, like tobacco and alcohol consumption, travelling long distance for drug collection, fear of stigma and death, and concerns regarding the future, need to be addressed.

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; Epidemiology; Health behaviour; Time to treatment; India

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