Correlates of anxiety in women living with HIV of reproductive age

AIDS Behav. 2012 Nov;16(8):2181-91. doi: 10.1007/s10461-011-0133-6.


Prior investigations suggest that women living with HIV (WLWH) experience higher rates of anxiety compared to the general population. This study investigates correlates of anxiety among 361 WLWH of reproductive age in Ontario, Canada who completed a series of self-reported measures. Anxiety was assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS-A). Thirty-seven percent of the sample had high anxiety (HADS-A ≥ 11). HIV-related stigma, reproductive health-related worries, having experienced judgment from family and friends for trying to become pregnant and use of antiretrovirals were associated with high anxiety. Being in a romantic/sexual relationship, older age, and undetectable viral load were associated with low anxiety. Findings highlight the importance of HIV-related stigma and having experienced judgment from family and friends for trying to become pregnant as important predictors of anxiety among WLWH of reproductive age. There is a need for appropriate management of anxiety and stigma for WLWH of childbearing age.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Fertility / physiology*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Pregnancy
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Reproduction / physiology*
  • Self Report
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Social Stigma*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Viral Load
  • Young Adult