Depression, anxiety, stress and stigma in informal caregivers of People Living with HIV (PLHIV)

Rumana Khan, Keshava Pai, Vaman Kulkarni, John Ramapuram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Informal caregivers are unpaid individuals who help friends or family members who cannot fully care for themselves. However fulfilling the act of helping debilitated individuals, exposure to another person’s traumatic experiences often results in psychological distress. Caregiver’s stigma towards HIV worsens this. Hence, this study aims to assess the effect of stigma on the mental health of caregivers so that their needs for support can be determined. A cross sectional hospital based study was carried out in Mangalore, India on 150 informal caregivers of PLHIV. The HIV Stigma Scale was used to assess stigma and DASS-21 was used to assess depression, anxiety and stress. Of the 150 caregivers, 20% marked one or more items on the stigma scale. Frequency of depression, anxiety and stress was 46%, 27% and 8% respectively. Most caregivers who had stigma and anxiety were of those patients diagnosed for a shorter duration of time (≤5 years) n = 20, p = 0.05 and n = 26, p = 0.03 respectively. Spouses of PLHIV (n = 31, p = 0.005), sero-positive caregivers (n = 25, p = 0.03) and those living with patients (n = 39, p = 0.01) suffered most from anxiety. Stress was significantly associated with depression (83%, p = 0.007) and anxiety (66.6%, p = 0.001) in caregivers. In conclusion, more of depression and anxiety was observed among the participants than stress. Stigma was seen in 20% of the participants. Stigma was not significantly associated with depression anxiety and stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)722-726
Number of pages5
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 03-06-2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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