Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS is a manageable infectious disease by the effectiveness of highly active antiretroviral therapy. AIDS-related stigma and conflict may create distress and deteriorate quality of life (QoL) of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). This cross-sectional, descriptive, correlational study using structural questionnaires aimed to explore the stress, needs, QoL, and associated factors of PLWHA in Taiwan. A total of 200 PLWHA participating in this study needed most on treatment of HIV and prevention of AIDS, and health maintenance. They had worse QoL in physical, psychological, and social domains (all p < 0.001) than the general population. Stress was the most significant predictor (β = -0.25 to -0.54, p < 0.01) for all four domains of QoL. Needs was not significantly associated with QoL. The QoL of PLWHA can be explained by demographics, self-perception on health, needs, and stress for 25.3-40.7% of variances. No association existed between CD4+ counts and QoL in Taiwanese PLWHA. It is important to recognize the perception of PLWHA on their health status, which is significantly associated with their QoL, besides monitoring their physical indicators of health (CD4+ counts). To recognize the stress and needs that PLWHA experience and to develop intervention programs targeting strategies on HIV disclosure, prevention and health maintenance are crucial for PLWHA's QoL.
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