Background: Depression is one of the most common neuropsychiatric complications of HIV disease, and in turn it is associated with worse HIV-related outcomes. Data on depression among HIV-infected patients in Cameroon are scarce. In this study, we report the prevalence and correlates of depressive symptoms among newly diagnosed HIV-infected patients in Yaoundé, Cameroon.Methods: Interviews were conducted with 100 newly diagnosed HIV-infected patients at three referral hospitals of Yaoundé. Depression was assessed using the nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). A positive depression screen was defined as PHQ-9 score greater than 9.Results: The overall prevalence of depressive symptoms was 63% (95% CI: 53.2 to 71.8), the majority having symptoms corresponding to moderate depression. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that probable depressed patients were more likely than those who were not depressed to have had experience of alcohol abuse (OR: 19.03, 95% CI 3.11-375.85; p = 0.0083), and a 100 CD4 cells/mm3 fewer was associated with a 2.9 times increase of the odds of probable depression (95% CI 1.88-4.84; p < 0.0001).Conclusions: Our findings indicate a high prevalence of depressive symptoms in newly diagnosed HIV-infected patients in our setting, and their association with alcohol abuse and severe immunosuppression. This study also highlights the necessity to integrate mental health interventions into routine HIV clinical care in Cameroon.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Depressive symptoms
- HIV patients