Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is one of the life-threatening conditions that affect various domains of patients’ life. The quality of life (QoL) of HIV patients has emerged as a major public health concern. People living with HIV (PLHIV) experience numerous problems that range from discrimination, changes in the patterns of relationships (intimacy), loss of social status, role, jobs and financial resources. Determinants of QoL and their impact on PLHIV have been highly documented. The objective of this review was to highlight different determinants of QoL and their impact on PLHIV. An extensive literature review was performed. Articles were identified from search engines such as PubMed, EMBASE, Google scholar and MEDLINE. Relevant keywords were used to guide searches from appropriate sources. We reviewed studies carried out worldwide with special focus on those done in Africa. From the results obtained, it showed that out of 42 articles reviewed, twenty (20) were quantitative (mostly cross sectional studies), twenty-two (22) were qualitative among which 8 were review articles. The study population was mostly made up of adults greater than 18 years old. Studies reviewed were mostly carried out in urban settings with an overall sample size of about 6,500 participants. Majority of HIV patients struggle with numerous social, psychological, physical and environmental problems. HIV patients are experiencing a devastating effect of this disease on their QoL, and a paradigm shift is required in thinking about this life-threatening condition. Practitioners should be aware of the struggles faced by HIV patients and provide them multidimensional support.
Key words: Africa, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), HIV, quality of Life.
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