Background: With effective Antiretroviral Treatment (ART), HIV infection is now considered to be a chronic disease requiring long-term care. This study aims to assess the health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) of perinatally HIV-infected adolescents growing-up with HIV.
Method: A cross-sectional survey in HIV-infected adolescents receiving ART was conducted at Chiang Mai University Hospital. Controls were age- and gender-matched healthy adolescents from the same geographic location and adolescents with hematologic malignancies. HR-QOL was assessed in adolescents using the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQLTM); their parents also completed the assessment independently. HIVrelated clinical characteristics were extracted from medical records.
Results: From July 2014 to February 2015, sixty-five HIV, 130 healthy and 30 hematologic malignancy adolescents were enrolled. Their mean age was 14.6 ± 2.2 years. The HIV group has been on ART for 8.9 ± 3.1 years. Their mean CD4 lymphocyte count was 662 ± 265 cells/mm3; 82% had HIV RNA level <40 copies/ml. From self-reporting, the HR-QOL of HIV-infected adolescents was not different from that of the control and the hematologic malignancy group (mean total score of 78.19 ± 15.58 vs. 78.00 ± 12.04 and 79.78 ± 11.76, respectively; p=0.932). However, the parent-proxy report showed a higher perceived HRQOL in the HIV vs. the control group in all domains. The age and CD4 were independently associated with QOL scores of infected adolescents in the simple linear regression, but not significant in multiple regression models.
Conclusion: With increasing accessibility to ART and comprehensive care, the HR-QOL of perinatally HIV-infected adolescents was improved and found to be comparable to non- HIV infected peers. Further study to identify clinical and psychosocial factors potentially associated with QOL in this population is warranted.