Background: People living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) are assumed to have poor social support. This study compared the satisfaction with perceived social support of people living with HIV and AIDS with HIV negative patients. Method: 150 HIV positive patients were age and sex matched with 150 HIV negative patients in a cross sectional comparative study. Information on socio-demography and social support was assessed with questionnaire including multidimensional scale of perceived social support (MSPSS). Chi square test, student t-test, and linear regression analysis were done at p = 0.05 level of significance. Result: Mean age of the HIV positive versus HIV negative patients is 38.1 ± 9.0 years versus 37.7 ± 9.2 years. Both groups had the lowest social support scores from family, (FA): 3.81 ± 1.08 vs 3.95 ± 0.89, p = 0.240. Perceived support from friends (FR) was higher in the HIV negative group 7.41 ± 1.99 vs 5.55 ± 2.34, p = 0.000 as well as perceived total support (TS), 3.94 ± 0.68 vs 3.59 ± 0.77, p = 0.000. Linear regression for all the respondents revealed HIV status contributed the most and predicted TS and FR scores respectively (β =-0.181 95% C.I = -5.843 to -0.766, p = 0.010 and β = -0.317, 95% C.I, -4.260 to -1.792, p = 0.000). For PLWHA group, employment contributed most to perceived TS (β = -0.181 95% C.I -11.812 to -0.0361, p = 0.049). However, in HIV negative group, TS and FR had the greatest contribution from marital status, (β = -0.416 95% C.I -6.157 to -1.829, p = 0.000) and(β -0.381 95% C.I -2.851 to -0.756, p = 0.001). Also, the current living status (β = -0.268, 95%C.-3.238 to -0.360, p = 0.015, and β = -0.241 95% C.I -1.48 to -0.09, p = 0.027). Conclusion: All respondents had the poorest perception of support from family (FA). Lack of employment is the most important factor identified in this group of PLWHA, responsible for the poor TS. For the HIV negative group, not being married and living outside family setting were the strongest factors for poor social support.
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