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Global prevalence of depression in HIV/AIDS: a systematic review and meta-analysis
  1. Sepide Rezaei1,
  2. Saba Ahmadi2,
  3. Jeiran Rahmati2,
  4. Hossein Hosseinifard3,
  5. Afsaneh Dehnad4,
  6. Aidin Aryankhesal1,5,
  7. Hosein Shabaninejad6,
  8. Shabnam Ghasemyani7,
  9. Samira Alihosseini8,
  10. Nicola Luigi Bragazzi9,
  11. Samira Raoofi7,
  12. Zahra Mansour Kiaee6 and
  13. Ahmad Ghashghaee5,7
  1. 1 Department of Health Services Management, School of Health Management and Information Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  2. 2 Student Research Committee, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  3. 3 Research Center for Evidence Based Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
  4. 4 Department of Foreign Languages, Faculty of Management and Medical Information, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  5. 5 Health Management and Economics Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  6. 6 Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, UK
  7. 7 Student Research Committee, Faculty of Health Management and Information Sciences Branch, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  8. 8 Department of Health Management, Policy and Economics, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
  9. 9 School of Public Health, Department of Health Sciences (DISSAL), University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Ahmad Ghashghaee, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 14496, 14535, Iran; ahmad.ghashghaee1996{at}


Introduction The incidence of some fatal diseases, including HIV/AIDS, accompanied by depression has become a significant concern in developed, developing and underdeveloped countries. A great deal of time and money are spent on controlling and reducing the complications of this infection across the world. Accordingly, the main purpose of this study was to clarify the global prevalence rate of depression in patients living with HIV/AIDS via a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Methodology All articles in English, published between 2000 and 2018, were systematically searched from the original databases of Web of Science, PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane Library, Google Scholar and Embase. As a result, a total of 118 articles were identified.

Results The total sample size in these articles was 51143 people, and the number of patients suffering from moderate and severe levels of depression was 14 942. The results of the analysis based on the random-effects (DerSimonian and Laird) model revealed that the prevalence rate of depression in patients with HIV/AIDS was 31% (95% CI 28% to 34%), with a 98% heterogeneity index which was reported significant. Meanwhile, the highest prevalence rate of depression based on continent was in South America at 44% (95% CI 35% to 53%) and the lowest rate was in Europe at 22% (95% CI 17% to 27%).

Conclusion In general, there was a higher prevalence rate of depression in developing and underdeveloped countries than in developed countries, which could be attributed to the advancement of science and the possibilities for early diagnosis of this syndrome.

Trial registration number CRD42019119137.

  • prevalence
  • depression
  • HIV
  • global
  • systematic review & meta-analysis

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  • Contributors Conception and design of study: SRe, AG, AA. Acquisition of data: SAh, AG, JR. Analysis and/or interpretation of data: HH, AA, SAl, SRa. Drafting the manuscript: NLB, AG, AA. Revising the manuscript critically for important intellectual content: AA, AD, HS, NLB, SG. Approval of the version of the manuscript to be published: AG, AA, SAl, HS, JR, ZMK.

  • Funding The study received funding from Iran University of Medical Sciences (grant no 14131).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.