Quality of Life Outcomes in Adults Living with HIV/AIDS at Late Stage


Alex Hakuzimana , MD
Rwanda Quality of Life Centre
Kigali city, Rwanda


The increasing use of more effective antiretroviral drugs which control the progression of HIV infection, resulting in longer survival for HIV-infected patients has renewed the interest of scientists and clinicians on the quality of life of people living with HIV/AIDS.

Quality of life assessment is currently considered essential for clinical trials development as clinical and biological endpoints (CD4 level, viral load, opportunistic infections) are considered inadequate to catch the complexity of treatment outcomes.

Quality of life is defined as “an individual’s perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live, and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns”.

The occurrence of symptoms (namely dyspnea, oral and abdominal pain, discomfort, malaise, weight loss, severe headache, anorexia, vomiting, dizziness, paresthesia, fatigue, weakness, cognitive problems and others) at late stage of the HIV infection, besides financial and family problems such as stigma, isolation, loss of income has an impact on the quality of life of HIV-infected persons.

More attention should be given for a better management of these symptoms in order to increase the adherence to antiretroviral therapy and to other drugs against opportunistic infections.

The general aim of this research is to study longitudinally the evolution of quality of life in advanced HIV-infected adults with regard to clinical variables.

This research aims particularly at evaluating psychometric properties of the WHOQOL-HIV BREF in Rwandan adult HIV-infected patients at the late stage, comparing clinical variables with quality of life dimensions at the four waves and identifying contributing factors in the improvement and/or worsening of quality of life in the patients at late stage of the HIV infection.