Quality of Life and HIV

Submitted on Apr 17, 2023 by  María Natalia Sáenz Agudelo

Lea este blog en español

According to the WHO, quality of life is: "[...] the perception that a person has about their position in life within the cultural context and the value system in which they live and with respect to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns. It is a wide-ranging concept that is crossed in a complex way by the physical health of the person, their physiological state, the level of independence, their social relationships and the relationship they have with their environment. (WHO, 2002).

Objective, subjective and social aspects are part of and have an important influence on our quality of life and this issue has been gaining more strength by being added as a fourth point within the 95-95-95 strategy. These are conjunctural moments that we must take advantage of because issues that we have raised and considered relevant throughout our process as women living with HIV are gaining strength and are put on the table.

Taking into account the aspects that make up our quality of life, it will be important to understand that it improves and is enhanced not only from taking our treatment. Clearly we live in many countries that continue to have difficulties for timely and continuous access to it; Furthermore, we must also take into account that the adherence process alone involves many issues and not only the delivery of antiretroviral treatment.

Our quality of life can no longer be defined by an undetectable viral load or slowly rising CD4 counts when we adhere to our medications. Our quality of life must be considered from the coverage of each one of these objective, subjective and social needs that each woman who receives a diagnosis has.


María Natalia Sáenz Agudelo.

Having a home, having an income level that guarantees the vital minimum, access to public services, social security, for example. Likewise, that we have support networks that have a positive impact on our mental health and not just on our physical health, continue with the individual life project or improve it if possible, not feel ashamed or afraid to recognize ourselves as women living with HIV, and also, to be part of societies that do not discriminate or stigmatize and to be able to access social programs or institutional services that guarantee the existence and improvement of our quality of life.

It is clear that all the instances involved in the attention that we require have a scope, but compared to the sum of the quality of life as the fourth 95% it is real that we will have to give greater importance to what we call integrality in the attention and the will , networking, meetings, articulations are fundamental for this to be achieved and the gender approach and the rights approach must be the central axis of these actions.

María Natalia Sáenz Agudelo
Medellín, Colombia

Submitted by Marig2016

"Our quality of life can no longer be defined by an undetectable viral load or slowly rising CD4 counts when we adhere to our medications."  this!!! thank you for sharing! I was just saying something similar this past week when i was in Las Vegas at the NMAC BioMedical Conference.

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