Background: Patients infected with HIV value both longevity and health.
Objective: To understand how HIV-infected patients value their health.
Design: Interview study.
Setting: Regional treatment center for HIV.
Patients: 51 patients with HIV infection.
Measurements: Life-satisfaction, health rating, time-tradeoff, and standard-gamble scores.
Results: Of the 51 patients, 49% (95% CI, 35% to 63%) said that their life was better currently than it was before they contracted HIV infection; only 29% said that life was currently worse. The mean (+/- SD) time-tradeoff score was 0.95 +/- 0.10, indicating that, on average, patients would give up no more than 5% of their remaining life expectancy in their current state of health in exchange for a shorter but healthy life. The average health rating score was 71.0 +/- 18.7 on a scale of 0 to 100, and the average standard-gamble score was 0.80 +/- 0.27. Factors contributing to life satisfaction and time-tradeoff scores included spirituality and having children.
Conclusion: Many patients with HIV have a strong will to live, and many feel that life with HIV is better than it was before they became infected.