Life of Discordant Couples Living with HIV in Puducherry, India: Psychological Distress and Coping Strategies

Shanuga Cherayi


A cross sectional study was conducted to examine the stress experienced by HIV infected discordant couples and their coping strategies. A total of 30 HIV discordant couples, receiving anti retro-viral therapy from a general hospital in Puducherry, were selected. Distress and coping were measured using Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale and Brief Cope scale respectively. The descriptive and inferential statistics were used for data analysis. The result reveals that majority of the respondents were experiencing moderate level of depression, stress and severe anxiety. A significant gender association was found on the level of depression between men and women. Men reported high level of depression than women. Depression was positively significantly correlated with anxiety and denial while it inversely correlated with self distraction, active coping, alcohol and substance abuse, use of instrumental support, positive reframing and acceptance. Anxiety had an inverse correlation with self blame, use of instrumental support and acceptance. Stress was significantly correlated with venting and self blame, while it was inversely correlated with self blame. Further, a significant gender and family status wise differences was observed on coping strategies. The study concludes that emphasising the distress reduction and healthy coping promotion strategies for HIV discordant couples.

Keywords: HIV discordant couple, distress and coping strategies

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