Carol Lin
University of Auckland
Chen-Kuo Lin
National Chengchi University
Lehan Li
University of Auckland
It is hypothesized that persons who use drugs in Vietnam who are also HIV-positive may face additional challenges in psychosocial outcomes, and these challenges may extend to their family members. In this study, we examined depressive symptoms, stigma, social support, and caregiver burden of HIV-positive PWUD and their family members, compared to the outcomes of HIV-negative PWUD and their family members. Baseline, 3-month, and 6-month assessment data were gathered from 83 PWUD and 83 family members recruited from four communes in Phú Thọ Province, Vietnam. For PWUD, although we observed a general decline in overall stigma over time for both groups, HIV-positive PWUD consistently reported significantly higher overall stigma for all three periods. Depressive symptoms among family members in both groups declined over time; however, family members of HIV-positive PWUD reported higher depressive symptoms across all three periods. In addition, family members of HIV-positive PWUD reported lower levels of tangible support across all three periods. Caregiver burden among family members of HIV-positive PWUD increased significantly over time, whereas the reported burden among family members of HIV-negative PWUD remained relatively unchanged. The findings highlight the need for future interventions for PWUD and family members, with targeted and culturally specific strategies to focus on the importance of addressing additional stigma experienced by PWUD who are HIV-positive. Such challenges may have direct negative impact on their family members' depressive symptoms, tangible support, and caregiver burden.
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