Survey reveals HIV link with depression

A STUDY into people living with HIV which involved a clinic in Eastbourne has published its findings – including the fact a large number of people with the infection suffer from depression.

Dr Fiona Lampe revealed the outcome of her study at the British HIV Association’s conference in Birmingham last week, at which she spoke at length about links between depression, unemployment and lack of social support.

The doctor and her team spoke to 2,175 people at six clinics. As well as the one in Eastbourne, visitors to centres in Brighton, Manchester and London were also quizzed about their life and experiences.

Each person was given a questionnaire which included sections on depression which asked people whether they had experience a range of symptoms at any time during the last fortnight.

And the results showed 20.6 per cent of respondents had suffered mile depression, 20.4 per cent moderate depression and 6.6 per cent severe depression.

The national average for those experiencing moderate or severe symptoms is just seven per cent. Here it was more than 20 per cent.

Dr Lampe’s study revealed there was a distinct link between employment and depression among HIV sufferers, with 15.3 per cent of people who are in work displaying symptoms compared to 43.3 per cent of those who are currently jobless.

There was also a strong link between the length of time since diagnosis and the amount of social support the person has access to.

The longer someone had been diagnosed with HIV, the more likely they were to be depressed.

HIV and AIDS charity the Terrence Higgins Trust has a base in Eastbourne in South Street and anyone who would like to find out more about the support on offer should call 01323 649927 or email