Social Isolation and Mortality Among People Living with HIV in British Columbia, Canada

AIDS Behav. 2021 Feb;25(2):377-388. doi: 10.1007/s10461-020-03000-2.


Social isolation, a risk factor for poor health within the general population, may be exacerbated by unique challenges faced by people living with HIV (PLHIV). This analysis examines the association between social isolation and all-cause mortality among a cohort of PLHIV experiencing multiple social vulnerabilities. The analytical sample included 936 PLHIV ≥ 19 years, living in British Columbia, Canada, and enrolled in the Longitudinal Investigation into Supportive and Ancillary Health Services (LISA) Study (2007-2010). Participants were classified as Socially Connected (SC), Minimally Isolated (MI) or Socially Isolated (SI) via latent class analysis. Cross-sectional survey data was linked to longitudinal clinical data from a provincial HIV treatment database. Mortality was assessed longitudinally up to and including December 31st, 2017. Through multivariable logistic regression, an association between SI and all-cause mortality was found (adjusted OR: 1.48; 95% CI 1.08, 2.01). These findings emphasize the need to mitigate effects of social isolation among PLHIV.

Keywords: Canada; HIV; Mortality; Social environment; Social isolation.

MeSH terms

  • British Columbia / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / mortality*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Social Isolation*