Objectives: To determine the prevalence of depression among persons attending a HIV/AIDS clinic in Kingston, Jamaica, and to explore the possible role of patient-specific clinical and social issues as intermediary factors in the relationship between HIV/ AIDS and depression.
Subjects and Methods: Over a three-month period, all eligible and consenting patients from a HIV/ AIDS clinic in Kingston, Jamaica, were invited to participate in the study. They were interviewed using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), an instrument validated for the detection of depression in primary care settings. Clinical and socio-demographic data were retrieved for all participating patients from a pre-existing clinic database. Depression prevalence rates were calculated and the association between depression and age, gender, antiretroviral treatment, CD4 count, living arrangement, marital status and major stressors explored.
Results: Sixty-three patients participated in the study and 43% (n = 36) of them were depressed. No significant differences in depression rates were found with respect to any of the sociodemographic or clinical factors explored (p > 0.05).
Conclusion: The relatively high prevalence of depression among attendees at the HIV/AIDS clinic underscores the need for depression screening in these patients.