MPhil study projects

The effects of antiretroviral therapy on patients’ quality of life of patients on ART in Katutura ARV Clinic, Katutura State Hospital, Namibia

Student: Emma Nelago Marlon Iyambo
Country: Namibia

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) significantly impacts the quality of life (QoL) of people living with HIV/Aids, although research on this in Namibia and globally is limited. To address this gap, a qualitative study was conducted at Katutura ARV Clinic at Katutura Intermediate State Hospital in Namibia, involving 30 respondents who had been on ART for at least 12 months.

The study utilised the SF-36 version 2.0 health survey to assess QoL across eight domains. The results showed high scores in physical functioning, role limitation due to emotional problems and pain, but lower scores in energy/fatigue, social functioning and emotional well-being. Among female respondents, more than 56% reported weight issues and prevalent comorbidities, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and tuberculosis. Despite viral load suppression in 76,7% of respondents, challenges like emotional distress, social stigma and fatigue persisted.

The study underscores the importance of psychosocial support, QoL monitoring and community engagement in HIV/Aids care. It highlights the need for interventions addressing medication side effects, nutritional support and mental health services. The findings suggest directions for programme evaluation and emphasise the importance of nutrition and non-communicable disease management in HIV care. Overall, the study emphasises the multifaceted approach required to improve QoL for people living with HIV/Aids, beyond clinical outcomes.