Poverty indicators and mental health functioning among adults living with HIV in Delhi, India

Ezer Kang, Darcie A.P. Delzell, Paul E. McNamara, Joel Cuffey, Anil Cherian, Saira Matthew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Poor mental health functioning among persons living with HIV (PLHIV) has gained considerable attention particularly in low-income countries that disproportionately carry the global HIV/AIDS burden. Fewer studies, however, have examined the relationship between poverty indicators and mental health among PHLIV in India. Based on this cross-sectional study of 196 HIV-seropositive adults who received medical services at Shalom AIDS Project in Delhi, India, structural equation modeling and mediation analysis were employed to estimate the associations between poverty indices (household asset index, food security, unemployment, water treatment, sanitation), HIV-health factors (illness in the past 3 months, co-morbid medical conditions), and psychological distress. In the final model, ownership of fewer household assets was associated with higher levels of food insecurity, which in turn was associated with higher psychological distress. Also, the household asset index, food insecurity, and unemployment had a larger effect on psychological distress than new opportunistic infections. These findings build on increasing evidence that support concerted efforts to design, evaluate, and refine HIV mental health interventions that are mainstreamed with livelihood programming in high poverty regions in India.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-422
Number of pages7
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2 2016


  • India
  • food security
  • mental health
  • poverty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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