Journal of
Public Health and Epidemiology

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Health Epidemiol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2316
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPHE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 655

Full Length Research Paper

Esthetic Self-Perception of HIV/AIDS Patients under Antiretroviral Therapy Suffering from Lipodystrophic Syndrome and its Influence on the Quality of Life in a City of the Brazilian Northeast

Carla Glenda Souza da Silva* and João Carlos Alchieri
Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), Brazil.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 19 August 2011
  •  Published: 30 November 2011


This paper aims to evaluate the impact of lipodystrophic syndrome (LDS) on the quality of life and esthetic self-perception of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) under highly activeantiretroviral therapy (HAART). This is an exploratory observational study, with quantitative and qualitative data, using world health organization quality of life instrument – HIV(WHOQOL-HIV BREF) and esthetic perception and evaluation of fat redistribution in patients with HIV/AIDS as instruments. The sample consisted of 48 PLWHA, aged between 32 and 66 years. 89.6% of PLWHA were interested in changing parts of their bodies perceived as altered or compromised by LDS, as reinforced by the fact that they "realize" (35.4%) and "feel" (35.4%) that they are differently perceived by other people. With respect to quality of life, spirituality, religion and personal beliefs obtained the highest mean (14.7) with SD = 4.0. This study suggests that HIV infection and the presence of LDS, based onthe self-perception of the participants, may affect not only biomedical aspects, butpsychosocial and spiritual ones as well, intervening in the quality of life of these individuals.


Key words: Lipodystrophic syndrome, quality of life, esthetic self-perception, HIV/AIDS.


Abbreviations: PLWHA, People living with HIV/AIDS; ART, antiretroviral therapy; LDS,  lipodystrophic syndrome; WHOQOL-HIV bref, world health organization quality of life instrument – HIV; HIV, human immunodeficiency virus; AIDS, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; STD, sexually transmitted diseases; HAART, highly active antiretroviral therapy;PI, protease inhibitor; NARTI, nucleoside-analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors; d4T,stavudine; ARV, antiretroviral; CEP-HUOL/UFRN, Comissão de Ética em Pesquisa Hospital Onofre Lopes/ Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte (Research EthicsCommittee); NRC, national research council; WHO, world health organization; SICLOM,logistics system ARV medicines; MW, minimum wages; DS, divert standard.