Relationship between health-related quality of life measures and high HIV viral load in HIV-infected triple-class-experienced patients

Raffaella Bucciardini, Katherina Pugliese, Liliana Weimer, Massimiliano Digregorio, Vincenzo Fragola, Mariagrazia Mancini, Zaira Maroccia, Nicoletta Ladisa, Daniela Francisci, Rita Bellagamba, Anna Degli Antoni, Giovanni Guaraldi, Oscar Cirioni, Francesco Ortu, Giustino Parruti, Marco Mannazzu, Raffaella Libertone, Stefania Donnini, Marco Floridia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) has been recognized as a central measure of the overall health status in HIV patients. With the availability of different highly effective drug combinations, maximizing quality-adjusted survival has become a major target of HIV treatment. Although the association of HIV RNA and CD4 cell count with clinical HIV progression has been well established, the relation between these markers and HRQoL measures is still unclear. Method: This cross-sectional study investigated the relationship linking HIV RNA and CD4 to HRQoL measures in 181 triple-class-experienced patients with advanced HIV disease. The instrument used was the ISSQoL, a self-administered and HIV-specific HRQoL questionnaire. Results: Data showed no correlation between HRQoL measures and CD4 counts. Higher HIV RNA levels were, however, associated with poor HRQoL scores in 3 out of 9 scales of social functioning, depression and anxiety, and satisfaction with quality of life. In multivariable analyses, only the satisfaction with quality of life mean score remained significantly lower for the HIV RNA > 100,000 copies/mL group compared to the HIV RNA 50 to 10,000 copies/mL group. Conclusions: Although other determinants of HRQoL in people with HIV should also be considered, this finding suggests a negative impact of high viral load on perceived HRQoL that adds to other described determinants of lower quality of life in people with HIV, such as lower social support and self-reported symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-183
Number of pages8
JournalHIV Clinical Trials
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014


  • HRQoL
  • viral load

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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