Florence Atieno Aboge, Anne Obondo, Dammas Kathuku and Dan Kibuule
Background: Despite that over 10% of the world’s population has a disability, globally the relationship between HIV and disability has not received due attention. Persons with disabilities are key populations with a high risk of exposure to HIV. In Kenya, 3.5% of the population experience some form of disability, majority of who reside in rural settings: Nyanza Province (5.6%) having the highest prevalence. Although depressive symptoms have been associated with disability, there are limited studies among persons with disabilities living with HIV/AIDS, (PWDLWA) particularly in rural Kenya. Aim: Study aimed to determine the prevalence of depressive symptoms among people with disability living with HIV/AIDS in Nyanza Province, Kenya. Methods: Descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out among PDLWA receiving HIV care at public health facilities and VCT centers in Nyanza Province. An interview guided questionnaire and the Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI) was used to collect Socio-demographic data and depressive symptoms among a purposively selected sample of participants. Data was entered and analyzed using the Statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 17. Results: Out of the 236 PWDLWA participants with a mean age of 42.6 ± 11.6 years, more than a half (51.7%) had clinical depression (severe and moderate depressive symptoms). Majority of the participants were female (62.7%), had attained at least primary level of education (58.9%) lived in rural Kenya (66.9%) and were unemployed (58.5%). Clinical depression was associated with low educational level (p=0.010), auditory disability (p=0.025). HIV and disability interventions related factors were not associated with depression. Conclusions and recommendations: More than half of PDLWA suffer from clinical depression. Education level and auditory impairment are risk factors for depression among PDLWA in Nyanza Province Kenya. There is need to intensify screening for depression among sensory and physically challenged persons living with HIV/AIDS.