Living with HIV in New Zealand: Balancing health and quality of life Academic Article uri icon


  • AIM: This paper characterises the health and wellbeing of HIV-positive people in New Zealand. METHODS: The HIV Futures New Zealand Survey is a self-complete anonymous questionnaire distributed in a variety of ways. Data were collected on health, clinical, and social variables. RESULTS: There were 226 responses, estimated to be approximately 25% of the HIV positive population. Respondents were aged between 18 and 68, and 56% were homosexual men. Most (68%) reported a viral load on most recent test of below 500 copies/mL and 59% had a CD4 lymphocyte count on most recent test of over 250 cells/mcL. However, 28% reported a major health condition in addition to HIV and 21% had a mental health condition. Most respondents (64%) were currently using antiretroviral therapy. Many (84%) knew other people with HIV and had contact with an HIV/AIDS organisation (77%). Forty-two percent of respondents had stopped working because of HIV, and 47% reported their main source of income as a Government benefit. CONCLUSIONS: This research has demonstrated that, while the HIV-positive population of New Zealand generally has improved health as a result of antiretroviral therapy, there are still significant social and economic barriers to their quality of life.


  • Grierson, J
  • Pitts, M
  • Whyte, M
  • Misson, S
  • Hughes, A
  • Saxton, P
  • Thomas, M

publication date

  • August 20, 2004