Unmet basic needs negatively affect health-related quality of life in people aging with HIV: results from the Positive Spaces, Healthy Places study
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BACKGROUND: Basic needs (e.g., food security and stable housing) are important determinants of health and well-being, yet their impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in the context of HIV and aging has not been systematically investigated. METHODS: Multiple linear regression models examined the relationship between unmet basic needs, and physical and mental HRQoL by age strata (20-34, 35-49 and 50+) in a cross-sectional sample of 496 people living with HIV in Ontario, Canada. RESULTS: An overwhelming majority of participants (87%) reported unmet needs related to food, clothing or housing. The prevalence of unmet basic needs in the two older groups appeared to be lower than among younger participants, but the difference did not reach statistical significance. The presence of unmet basic needs predicted substantially lower mean physical health and mental health summary scores in the two oldest groups. Notably, age moderated the influence of unmet basic needs on HRQoL. CONCLUSIONS: The availability and accessibility of food security, appropriate clothing and stable housing for people living with HIV who are aging need to become a higher priority for program planners and decision makers.
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