Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in males not only causes physical, psychological, economic, and social problems for this population, it may also affect the physical and mental health of their spouses. This study aimed to compare the wives of HIV-positive husbands with a control group regarding depression, anxiety, and stress disorders.
This descriptive and cross-sectional study included 43 wives of HIV-positive husbands (case group) who referred to Counseling and Behavioral Centers in Hamadan and Malayer, Iran, during 2019 using census and convenience sampling methods. Subsequently, the case group was compared with a control group (i.e., 100 wives of HIV-negative husbands) in terms of depression, anxiety, and stress using Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale-21. The data were analyzed in SPSS software (version 21). A P-value less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
The mean values of depression, anxiety, and stress in the case and control groups were 17.44±12.32 and 5.82±7.29 (P<0.001), 13.20±10.42 and 6.56±5.75 (P<0.001), as well as 20.23±12.58 and 16.04±8.03, respectively (P=0.049). Out of 143 females under study, 38 (26.6%) cases were HIV-positive. Moreover, the mean values of depression, anxiety, and stress in HIV-positive and HIV-negative females were 17.47±12.64 and 6.36±7.81 (P<0.001), 16.82±5.88 and 13.36±10.87 (P<0.001), as well as 20.05±12.19 and 16.30±8.59, respectively (P=0.042).
The prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress is high in females with HIV-positive husbands. According to the results, there is a significant relationship between depression and the level of education among these women. It can be concluded that HIV-infection correlated significantly with psychiatric disorders
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