HIV/AIDS are pressing global health problems. Pain is a common symptom reported by patients living with HIV/AIDS. The exact cause of pain in HIV patients has not been thoroughly described, but it may, due to a symptom of HIV itself, result from opportunistic infections, as a side effect of antiretroviral drugs, concurrent neoplasia or other causes. In addition, pain perception of HIV-infected patients is highly variable and may vary based on cultural context and patient demographics. In Ethiopia, there is insufficient evidence on the prevalence and factors associated with HIV-related pain.
A cross-sectional study was conducted among 422 adult HIV-infected patients at Gondar University Hospital antiretroviral care clinic from March 1 to May 1, 2016. Systematic random sampling was used to select study participants. A pretested interviewer-administered questionnaire and a standardized medical record data abstraction tool were used to collect data. A short form brief pain inventory tool was used to measure the outcome. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression models were fitted to identify factors associated with pain among adult HIV patients.
The prevalence of pain was found to be 51.2% (95% CI: 46.4%–55.9%). Headache (17.9%), abdominal pain (15.6%), and backache (13.3%) were the most common symptoms of study participants. Being female (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]=1.8, 95% CI: 1.1–2.9); regular alcohol intake (aOR=3.3, 95% CI: 1.5–7.2); baseline World Health Organization clinical disease stage: II (aOR=2.5, 95% CI: 1.2–4.9), III (aOR=2, 95%, CI: 1.1–3.6), and IV (aOR=2.4, 95% CI: 1.1–5.3); and the presence of a chronic comorbid condition (aOR=5.9, 95% CI: 2.1–16.7) were significantly associated with pain.