Background: For most HIV/AIDS patients who adhere to their medication regimens, Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) effectively controls viral load, reduces the incidence of AIDS diagnoses, and lowers HIVassociated mortality. Despite strong evidence that HAART effectively increases survival in people living with HIV/ AIDS, HIV-infected individuals not only need to endure the physiological changes that occur during therapy, but they may also face social and psychological problems. However, few research studies have paid attention to the quality of life of injection drug users (IDUs) living with HIV. This paper examines quality of life among IDUs living with HIV/ AIDS relative to IDUs without HIV/AIDS. Methods: A total of 71 HIV-infected IDUs from 4 methadone clinics in northern Taiwan completed a structured questionnaire that included demographics and the World Health Organization Quality of Life Scale brief version (WHOQOL-BREF). Another 71 HIV-negative IDUs were randomly sampled from 528 available methadone patients at the same 4 clinics as the control group. Scores from the WHOQOL-BREF were compared between HIV-positive and HIV-negative IDUs. Results: Results from multivariate multiple linear regression indicated that after controlling for all other demography and clinical factors, average scores in these four domains of WHOQOL-BREF were significantly higher among HIV-negative patients compared with those in HIV-positive patients. The greatest group difference appeared in the social relations domain, followed by the psychological domain and then the environmental domain, with the least difference found in the physical domain. Conclusion: The findings suggest that social relations and psychological issues are of great concerns for IDUs, especially HIV-positive patients. This indicates that understanding the impact of HIV infection on the quality of life particularly in the psychological and social relations realms is an important topic of future research.
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