The association between aids related stigma and major depressive disorder among HIV-positive individuals in Uganda

BACKGROUND: Major depressive disorder in people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) is common and may be associated with a number of factors, including AIDS-related stigma, decreased CD4 levels, increased opportunistic infections and sociodemographic variables. The extent to which AIDS-related stigma is associated with major depressive disorder among PLWHA has not been well studied in sub-Saharan Africa. The objective of this study was to examine the associations between major depressive disorder, AIDS-related stigma, immune status, and sociodemographic variables with the aim of making recommendations that can guide clinicians. METHODS: We assessed 368 PLWHA for major depressive disorder, as well as for potentially associated factors, including AIDS-related stigma, CD4 levels, presence of opportunistic infections, and sociodemographic variables. RESULTS: The prevalence of major depressive disorder was 17.4%, while 7.9% of the participants had AIDS related stigma. At multivariable analysis, major depressive disorder was significantly associated with AIDS-related stigma [OR = 1.65, CI (1.20-2.26)], a CD4 count of ≥200 [OR 0.52 CI (0.27-0.99)], and being of younger age [0.95, CI (0.92-0.98). CONCLUSIONS: Due to the high burden of major depressive disorder, and its association with AIDS related stigma, routine screening of PLWHA for both conditions is recommended. However, more research is required to understand this association.