Journal of
AIDS and HIV Research

  • Abbreviation: J. AIDS HIV Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2359
  • DOI: 10.5897/JAHR
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 297

Full Length Research Paper

Lipodystrophy, “social death” and treatment adherence in human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS)

Carla Glenda Souza da Silva1* and Joao Carlos Alchieri2
1Health Sciences Department, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN)-Natal, Brazil. 2Psychology and Graduate Health Sciences, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN)-Natal, Brazil.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 18 March 2013
  •  Published: 31 May 2013


The lipodystrophy syndrome is the adverse effect to the use of the most important antiretrovirals according to the Ministry of Health of Brazil. Based on this idea, it is sought to emphasize that the lipodystrophy syndrome, as a result of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) treatment confirms the “social death” experienced by patients and the possible interference in the process of treatment adherence. The data showed that from 48 patients (n) volunteers, 37.5% decreased their frequency to engage in social activities supported by data from the second instrument (WHOQOL-HIV BREF) regarding the facet for social isolation, in which 39.6% feel partially accepted by their friends and family, suggesting a tendency to be a “social dead”. Regarding treatment adherence, 35.4% in this sample needs medicines for their daily life. It can be concluded that, despite the reduction in the social involvement of these individuals, the fact of using the medication as it was prescribed corresponds to a high percentage of people who could not live their daily lives without medication.


Key words: Lipodystrophy syndrome, social death, treatment adherence, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS).