472. Development of a New Impact of HIV Instrument for Persons Living with HIV Long-Term and What it Means to be an “HIV Survivor”
Session: Poster Abstract Session: HIV Primary Care
Friday, October 21, 2011
Room: Poster Hall B1
  • Buscher_VA_Poster-Final IDSA.pdf (449.0 kB)
  • Background:  Like cancer survivors, patients living with HIV long-term may have physical, psychological, social, and spiritual challenges over their lifespan. Whether persons living with HIV consider themselves “HIV survivors” is unknown.

    Methods:  393 patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART) at an HIV clinic in Houston, TX, completed a new HIV Survivorship Survey modified from Zebrack's Impact of Cancer Scale. The survey included the statement, “I consider myself to be an HIV survivor.” Participants also completed general and adherence self-efficacy scales and a visual analogue scale to assess ART adherence. Psychometric properties of survey scales were assessed. Median subscale scores were compared by HIV duration and response to the survivor statement. 

    Results:  Participants had a mean duration of HIV of 11 years; 63% were men; and 33% MSM. Factor analyses of items derived 6 subscales:  Health Awareness, Positive Self-Evaluation, Positive Outlook, Value of Relationships, Negative Self-Evaluation-Outlook, Health Anxiety, and Body Changes. Cronbach's alphas were 0.75-0.89. Regardless of HIV duration, participants scored high on health awareness, positive self-evaluation, positive outlook, and value of relationships; low on body image concerns; and high on health anxiety. 224 (57%) participants strongly agreed with the survivor statement, 145 (37%) agreed, 20 (5%) disagreed, and 5 (1%) strongly disagreed. Participants agreed with the term regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, duration of HIV infection, years on ART, CD4 count, or VL. Persons who strongly agreed with the survivor statement had higher health awareness, positive self-evaluation, positive outlook, value of relationships, and less negative self-evaluation-outlook compared to participants who agreed or disagreed (p<0.01). Considering oneself a “survivor” correlated with higher general and adherence self-efficacy (p<0.01) but not with higher ART adherence (p=0.12).        

    Conclusion:  The initial version of the HIV Survivorship Survey has good internal validity. A high proportion of patients on ART consider themselves “HIV survivors.” Further research to understand the meaning of the term for patients and its utility is justified.   


    Subject Category: H. HIV/AIDS and other retroviruses

    April Buscher, MD, MPH1, Michael Kallen, PhD2, Hong Zhang2 and Thomas Giordano, MD, MPH3, (1)Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA; Houston Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston TX, USA , Houston, TX, (2)Department of General Internal Medicine, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA, Houston, TX, (3)Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX


    A. Buscher, None

    M. Kallen, None

    H. Zhang, None

    T. Giordano, None

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