The objectives of this study were to: (1) examine the quality of life of HIV-infected
persons and patients; (2) identify the factors related to their quality of life, and (3) map
out the problems and seek ways to improve their quality of life.
A questionnaire was employed as the research instrument to obtain information
from 180 HIV-infected persons and patients who had been members of the Ruam Nam Jai
Rim Nam Lao Group in Mae Lao district, Chiang Rai Province, for at least three mouths.
Frequency, percentage, t-test and F-test were used for data analysis. About 50.6 percent of
the subjects were females, aged below 35 years (43.9%) and married. The majority (68.9%)
had finished elementary school. The majority (60%) were engaged in general employment
or in agriculture (33.9%), among others. The average monthly income was below
1,000 baht (42.80%). Most of them had been members of the Ruam Nam Jai Rim Nam Lao
Group for four years or more. The reason for joining the group was to access the facilities
to look after their own health and to get anti-AIDS medicines. They participated in the
group activities 1-4 times. They learned that they were HIV-infected at least six years
previously. They experienced a mild ill-feeling approximately once a month. The period
of treatment with anti-HIV medicines was one and a half years to three years. To a great
extent, they looked after their own health ( x = 0.74 out of 1).
Overall, the quality of life of the HIV-infected persons and patients was moderate
(x = 3.59 out of 5). When the individual dimensions were considered separately, it was
found that the quality of family life and that of community life were high ( x = 4.07 and
3.84, respectively). Their health and economic security were found to be moderate ( x =
3.43 and 3.03, respectively).
The factors relating significantly to their quality of life at the 0.05 level were gender,
marital status, income, length of time knowing about their HIV infection, and the nature
of their illness, respectively. In contrast, education, number of years of taking anti-HIV
medication and self-care were all found to have no relationship to their quality of life.
From the findings of the study, the researchers were able to compile some suggestions
for improving the situation of the HIV-infected persons and patients in the communities;
the details of the study are described in the text.