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Andhra Pradesh has a significant number of PLHA population i.e. 2.5 % among ANC attendees. Empowering the community is key in helping the PLHAs to address their issues. In Andhra Pradesh has been supporting projects which implement the concept of “support groups” of PLHA. These are community groups in which PLHAs/ immediate family members are members and they take a leading role in programming.
A study was carried out among the PLHAs assess the quality of life of PLHAs with an appropriate tool in selected sites of AP. In addition a case control analysis has been done to ascertain the effect of “being a member of support group” on the quality of life of PLHAs in selected mandals
One to one interview using an HAT – Qol tool was administered to assess the Quality of life among the PLHAs. A sample of 80 PLHAs were interviewed for this purposes. For the case control analysis, out of the above sample of 38 cases and 35 controls were selected. 3 FGD’s were done with the support group members to assess views of the members in terms of supporting PLHAs. The Quality of Life of the Respondents was measured on the basis of the following parameters viz: Overall Function, Life Satisfaction, Health Worries, Financial Worries, Medication Worries, HIV Mastery, Disclosure worries, Provider Trust and Sexual Function.
The overall Quality of life (in a scale of 1 – 100) among the respondents were 54.11. In the case control analysis, the quality of life among the support group members i.e. the cases was 61.46722 which were significantly higher than the controls for which the quality of life measured was 46.75489. There was a huge difference in the Disclosure Worries among the Cases and Controls. The Disclosure Worries in Cases was measured at 61.21 whereas in Controls it was measured at 1.41
The above findings clearly indicate the effectiveness of support group improving the quality of life, especially with disclosure issues. It is vital that this concept is programmed into any community based PLHA related programmes for not only ensuring the ownership of the Programme among the PLHA’s but also to improve their Quality of Life.