Home is where the HAART is: an examination of factors affecting neighbourhood perceptions among people with HIV/AIDS on antiretroviral therapy

AIDS Care. 2011 Feb;23(2):245-51. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2010.490256.


Understanding the neighbourhood perceptions of individuals living with HIV in urban and non-urban areas may help identify potential barriers to uptake and effectiveness of therapy. We evaluate how neighbourhood perceptions are influenced by socio-economic factors, such as food security and stable housing and other explanatory variables, among individuals receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in British Columbia. Neighbourhood perceptions, quality of life and socio-demographic information were collected in an interviewer-administered survey with study participants. Perception of neighbourhood problems, perception of neighbourhood cohesion and perception of relative standard of living were evaluated using previously defined scales. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were carried out to determine associations with neighbourhood perceptions, food security and stable housing. Our analyses were based on 457 participants, of whom 133 (29%) were food secure and 297 (65%) had stable housing. Mean scores for perceptions of neighbourhood problems and cohesion were 35 (IQR 15-58) and 57 (IQR 46-69), respectively. Being food secure and having stable housing was associated with a 9% and 11% decrease in perception of neighbourhood problems, respectively, and a 6% increase in the perception of neighbourhood cohesion in both cases. Food security and stable housing are related to neighbourhood perceptions among individuals on HAART. The results point to potential targets for intervention, involving improvements to living conditions such as housing and food security, which may promote treatment success for HAART, especially in marginalized communities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / psychology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active
  • British Columbia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Food Supply*
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections* / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections* / psychology
  • Housing*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Social Environment
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult