Health-related Quality of Life Among People with HIV Disease

Results from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study

Published in: Quality of Life Research, v. 9, 2000, p. 55-63

Posted on on January 01, 2000

by Eric G. Bing, Ron D. Hays, L. P. Jacobson, Baibai Chen, S. J. Gange, N. E. Kass, J. S. Chmiel, Sharon L. Zucconi

Read More

Access further information on this document at

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

To examine the effect of HIV status, symptomatology and CD4+ lymphocyte level on health-related quality of life, the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) was administered to 2,295 gay men enrolled in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) in 1994. Distinct physical and mental health factors of the SF-36 were found. Seropositive asymptomatic individuals and seropositive individuals with CD4+ lymphocytes = 500/mm3 scored as well as seronegative participants on all of the mental health domain scales, but lower on the general health perceptions and physical health composite score. Seropositive individuals with at least one symptom or with CD4+ lymphocytes below 200/mm3 scored significantly lower on all of the SF-36 scales and summary scores than seronegative controls. The SF-36 was found to exhibit similar mental and physical health factors for an adult gay male population to that previously seen in general population samples and in patient groups with other diseases. In conclusion, HIV-positive men who are asymptomatic or have CD4+ lymphocytes above 500/mm3 have similar perceived mental health but worse perceived physical health than seronegative men. HIV-positive men who are symptomatic or have CD4+ lymphocytes below 200/mm3 have worse perceived mental and physical health than seronegative men.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.