Quality of Life (QoL) is a broad-ranging concept which can include a person’s physical health, mental state, economic opportunities, personal beliefs and relationships. Societal wellbeing (for the most part influenced by government choices in areas including education and health) can play an important part in determining someone’s overall QoL.
For People living with HIV, QoL is an essential component of everyday life and not an optional extra. It affects the ability to enter and stay within the continuum of care and, ultimately, become and remain virally suppressed. While viral suppression is important both for individuals living with HIV and responses to the epidemic, it is not the end point of action on HIV. Rather than simply prolonging the lives of people living with HIV, initiatives should be taken to ensure they are healthy, happy and fulfilled.
STOPAIDS champion QoL in its broader sense. This means that we talk about three interconnected levels – HIV-specific components; health-related components: and the broader non-health specific well-being and wider social and economic aspects of quality of life. We need to consider QoL holistically and respond to the evidence accordingly with the necessary funding, programmes and legal reform.
QoL should be the centre of future global HIV policy and clinical practice. This is why STOPAIDS has chosen to focus on the QoL as one of our advocacy impact areas.
The goal is to ensure enhanced Quality of Life for people living with and affected by HIV. In order to achieve this we will:
- Enhance funding for and access to quality HIV prevention, treatment, care and support (e.g. UK Government, Global Fund, Robert Carr Fund, civil society and community funding)
- Ensure meaningful integration of HIV with and access to broader physical and mental health issues / UHC.
- Reduce HIV-related structural barriers (e.g. criminalisation & gender inequality).
Click on the icons below to find out more about our work in this area: