Non-clinical outcomes of antiretroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS in developing countries: a systematic literature review
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The impacts of antiretroviral therapy on quality of life, mental health, labor productivity, and economic wellbeing for people living with HIV/AIDS in developing countries are only beginning to be measured. We conducted a systematic literature review to analyze the effect of antiretroviral therapy (ART) on these non-clinical indicators in developing countries and assess the state of research on these topics. Both qualitative and quantitative studies were included, as were peer-reviewed articles, gray literature, and conference abstracts and presentations. Findings are reported from 12 full-length articles, 7 abstracts, and 1 presentation (representing 16 studies). Compared to HIV-positive patients not yet on treatment, patients on ART reported significant improvements in physical, emotional and mental health and daily function. Work performance improved and absenteeism decreased, with the most dramatic changes occurring in the first three months of treatment and then leveling off. Little research has been done on the impact of ART on household wellbeing, with modest changes in child and family wellbeing within households where adults are receiving ART reported so far. Studies from developing countries have not yet assessed non-clinical outcomes of therapy beyond the first year; therefore, longitudinal outcomes are still unknown. As ART roll out extends throughout high HIV prevalence, low-resource countries and is sustained over years and decades, both positive and adverse non-clinical outcomes need to be empirically measured and qualitatively explored in order to support patient adherence and maximize treatment benefits.
This repository item contains a single issue of the Health and Development Discussion Papers, an informal working paper series that began publishing in 2002 by the Boston University Center for Global Health and Development. It is intended to help the Center and individual authors to disseminate work that is being prepared for journal publication or that is not appropriate for journal publication but might still have value to readers.