A comparison of depressive scores amongst newly diagnosed HIV-infected and uninfected pregnant women using the Edinburgh Depression Scale.
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Objective Prevalence rates of HIV infection in KwaZulu-Natal are high, with a significant amount of those infected being women of reproductive age. A diagnosis of HIV infection has been associated with an increased risk for the development of depression. Antenatal depression is a serious health concern, as it has the potential to cause wide-reaching adverse consequences for both mother and unborn child. Thus the objective of this study is to compare depressive scores between newly diagnosed HIV-infected and uninfected pregnant women in KwaZulu-Natal to elucidate any association between a new diagnosis of HIV infection and the development of antenatal depression. Methods 102 newly HIV tested Black African pregnant women were recruited from antenatal clinics at two regional hospitals; further stratified into two cohorts based on HIV status (HIV-infected: n=40; HIV-uninfected: n=62). Women’s sociodemographic and clinical data were recorded, before being assessed for depression using an IsiZulu version of the Edinburgh Depression Scale. Results Of the sample, 9.8% suffered from depression. Prevalence rates of antenatal depression did not differ significantly between the HIV-infected and uninfected cohorts (p=0.79). A diagnosis of HIV infection (p<0.0001) and maternal age (p=0.03) are risk factors for antenatal depression. Unemployment (p=0.09) is a borderline risk factor for the development of antenatal depression. Conclusion Prevalence rates of depression are low in our sample. A new diagnosis of HIV infection in pregnancy places women at an increased risk for the development of antenatal depression. Younger age and unemployed status may also influence depression.