Majority of HIV/AIDS Patients on Antiretroviral Treatment Rate Health as ‘Good or Excellent,’ Survey Shows
Sixty percent of HIV/AIDS patients taking antiretroviral drugs rated their overall health as "good or excellent," and the same percentage said that their current health status was "much better or better" than during the previous year, according to a survey conducted by researchers of the Infectious Disease Clinic at Montefiore Medical Center in New York, Reuters Health reports. Dr. Daniel Kaswan presented his team's findings last weekend at the annual meeting of the Infectious Disease Society of America in San Francisco. Researchers interviewed 160 HIV patients -- 80 men and 80 women -- who were receiving treatment at the clinic. Most of the participants were black or Hispanic, and 60% had been diagnosed with AIDS. Sixty percent of the entire group indicated that their health had improved since the previous year, with 70% of those with AIDS saying that their health had improved. Kaswan called the findings "surprising," noting that "[e]ven patients that are not doing so well -- not terminally ill but clinically diagnosed with full-blown AIDS -- rated their health as good overall." He added that those diagnosed with depression were more likely to indicate that their health was poor. Seventy percent of the patients were also able to accurately predict their clinical test results, indicating that it may be useful for doctors to "tak[e] the time to talk to patients when assessing their health, rather than relying exclusively on tests and numbers," Kaswan said. "Despite today's technology, 'How are you feeling?' is a very important question to keep asking. And what people answer tells you what people know about their disease," he added (Mozes, Reuters Health, 10/30).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.