Alejandro Checa, Unidad de Salud Mental, Hospital de Especialidades Eugenio Espejo, Quito, Ecuador Eliana Navas, Unidad de Salud Mental, Hospital de Especialidades Eugenio Espejo, Quito, Ecuador Verónica Valencia, Unidad de Salud Mental, Hospital de Especialidades Eugenio Espejo, Quito, Ecuador Jessica Alcívar, Unidad de Salud Mental, Hospital de Especialidades Eugenio Espejo, Quito, Ecuador


Background: HIV can cause neurotoxicity and neuronal apoptosis, hence the importance of neuropathogenesis mechanisms in HIV. People in AIDS phase with CD4 count under 250, may be at greater risk of suffering from depression. Objective: Evaluate whether there is a relationship between T-CD4 lymphocyte count and depression in people living with HIV but have not started antiretroviral treatment. Method: This was a cross-sectional cohort study conducted between October 2020 and January 2021 in the HIV Unit of the Eugenio Espejo Hospital in Quito. A CD4 test was performed, and the Hamilton Depression Scale was used in patients after 1 month of being diagnosed with HIV but before receiving antiretroviral treatment. Results: A total of 108 subjects were recruited, mainly men (79.6%), of which 82.4% were between 18 and 45 years old. The subjects in the AIDS phase were 25% of which 92.6% presented depression (p = 0.000), it was noted that the older the age, the prevalence of depression increases (p = 0.007). As for the female sex, it seems to have a risk of practically double with respect to men of suffering from depression (p = 0.005). Conclusions: In our cohort study, at PLWH in Ecuador, patients in AIDS phase present a considerable risk of suffering from depression; at the same time, as the age increases, the probability of presenting depression is greater. As well as, female sex is a risk factor. Therefore, the follow-up of these patients is an essential part of care and treatment process.



Keywords: CD4. HIV. Depression.