n Africa Journal of Nursing and Midwifery - Quality of life of people living with HIV and AIDS who are on antiretroviral therapy in Swaziland

Volume 17, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1682-5055


The study was conducted to assess the quality of life (QOL) of people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) who are on antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Swaziland. A qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual design was used. Twenty four PLWHA on ART were purposefully selected to participate. Methods of data gathering consisted of: (1) in-depth individual semi-structured interviews; and (2)observations in the form of field notes. Data were analysed using Tesch's descriptive method of data analysis. The study revealed that PLWHA in Swaziland are faced with many challenges concerning ART that negatively influence their QOL. The findings are discussed within six (6) QOL domains, namely: (1) the physiological domain is categorised as the inability to meet nutritional needs, non-adherence to ART, experience of disfiguring side effects of ARVs, and inconsistent condom use; (2) the psychological domain is categorised as stigma and discrimination, depression, difficult acceptance and coping with ART, and lowered self-esteem; (3) the spiritual domain identified as negative influence of some religions on ART; (4) the socioeconomic domain defined as lack of financial support; (5) the cognitive domain associated with poor support systems, poor understanding of ARVs, negative thoughts about ART as categories; and lastly (6) the environmental domain that deals with contextual issues, for example, the health care system, culture, and rights of PLWHA. These challenges negatively influence adherence to ART as all the participants did not achieve the 95% adherence rate required to maximise the benefits of ART, and PLWHA appeared to be powerless to deal with them. Non-adherence to ART negatively influences the QOL.

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