Social isolation in HIV-infected patients according to subjective patient assessment and DEXA-confirmed severity of lipodystrophy.
This study was designed to investigate the persistence of lipodystrophy (LD)-related social distress and isolation in HIV-infected patients in the current era, according to confirmatory dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) measurements. Cross-sectional interview data were collected from 168 HIV-positive adult patients taking more than 2 years of antiretroviral therapy (133 cases with LD diagnosed a mean of 7.2 years before; 35 without LD, controls). Mean time of HIV infection was 16.2 years (2.1-27.3), and the mean time of exposure to highly active antiretroviral therapy of 11.7 years (2.1-21.1). The presence and severity of LD, confirmed by DEXA measurements, correlated with social isolation through a validated scale, including avoidance of social relationships, sex, work, or sport activities. In comparison with control patients, social distress was observed for patients having moderate body changes. The significant correlation between LD and social isolation was irrespective of age, CD4+ count, HIV RNA level, AIDS diagnosis, time of HIV infection, anxiety, or depressive symptoms. These results confirm that patient assessment of LD is correlated with whole-body DEXA scan, and they highlight the role of LD as an independent cause of social isolation even after years of the diagnosis.
Casado, JL; Iglesias, V; del Palacio, M; Marín, A; Perez-Elías, MJ; Moreno, A; Moreno, S
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