Sigma Research

Taking heart? The impact of combination therapy on the lives of people with HIV

Duration: March 1998 - March 1999

This quantitative follow-up to our original qualitative study recruited 2,367 people with HIV from across the UK. Using self-completion, freepost return questionnaires the study described and explored key aspects of the therapeutic experience of people living with HIV. These experiences include learning about anti-HIV combination therapies, accessing it, making decisions about starting therapy, taking therapy and coping with its impact.

The study was concerned with how the advent of anti-HIV combination therapy had affected everybody with HIV, whether or not they were actually taking HIV treatments. The objectives of the study were:

  • to describe the experience of people with HIV in accessing treatments.
  • to describe the experience of people with HIV accessing information about treatments.
  • to describe the treatment knowledge and attitudes of all people with HIV.
  • to describe the experience of people with HIV in using anti-HIV combination therapy.
  • to describe the changes in the lives of people with HIV brought about by taking anti-HIV combination therapy.

This national survey of people with HIV was undertaken in the summer of 1998. Between 10% and 15% of the population of people diagnosed with HIV in the UK took part. As such the study provides a unique baseline against which to compare more recent studies. It also remains the largest study of people with HIV ever undertaken in the UK.

The final report is no longer available but results were also written up in a Book chapter called Treatment education: a multi-disciplinary challenge (1999).

Key contact: Peter Weatherburn

Tagged under: All living with HIV