An assessment of self-esteem in HIV-Positive patients

R. Vlsintini, M. Bagnato, E. Campanini, S. Fontana, A. Fossati, L. Novella, C. Maffei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this research is to assess how self-esteem levels differ in HIV-infected subjects in three different risk behaviours: drug addicts, homosexuals, heterosexuals. The sample (n = 104) consisted of: drug addicts (n = 46); homosexual (n = 26); heterosexuals (n = 32). The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) and the Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI) were used. A covariance analysis was used to assess the effect of the different personality traits on the ‘self-esteem variable’ and to eliminate the variance caused by the personality variables. Bonferroni's T-test was used to assess which group contributed to confute the hypothesis of equivalence between the RSES means of the groups. A significant association between the HIV-infection risk behaviour and the level of self-esteem was shown; this association was assessed by eliminating the effect of personality traits. The risk behaviour as well as the personality traits were both indicative of the level of self-esteem. The assessment of each group revealed that the drug addicts had a relatively lower self-esteem level (mean = 35.251) than the homosexuals (mean = 38.698) and the heterosexuals (mean = 38.227). In conclusion the RSES enables clinicians to identify subjects with low levels of self-esteem who need to be psychologically assessed within a vast population of HIV-infected patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-104
Number of pages6
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Health Professions(all)


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