Perceived discrimination and mental health symptoms among persons living with HIV in China: the mediating role of social isolation and loneliness

Shuyu Han, Yan Hu, Lina Wang, Yaolin Pei, Zheng Zhu, Xiang Qi, Bei Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Perceived discrimination is significantly associated with mental health symptoms among persons living with HIV (PLWH). However, little is known about the factors mediating this relationship. We aimed to examine the mediating role of social isolation and loneliness in the association between perceived discrimination and mental health symptoms among PLWH. A multicenter (Shanghai, Kunming, Nanning, Hengyang, and Changning in China) cross-sectional study was conducted in 2017. Data from 883 PLWH were used for statistical analysis. Perceived discrimination, mental health symptoms, loneliness and social isolation were assessed through self-report questionnaires. Structural equation modeling (SEM) showed a satisfactory model fit (CMIN/DF = 2.676, GFI = 0.998, CFI = 0.997, NFI = 0.995, TLI = 0.985, RMSEA = 0.044 [0.000, 0.090]) and a significant total indirect effect (β = 0.058, SE = 0.009, Z = 6.444, p < 0.01). Both loneliness (β = 0.042, SE = 0.008, Z = −5.250, p < 0.01) and social isolation (β = 0.016, SE = 0.004, Z = −4.000, p < 0.01) were determined to be significant mediators of the association between perceived discrimination and mental health symptoms. Interventions that combat loneliness and social isolation may help ameliorate the adverse consequences of perceived discrimination on mental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-584
Number of pages10
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Volume33
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • HIV/AIDS
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • loneliness
  • perceived discrimination
  • social isolation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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