There is a lack of evidence from randomized controlled trials to show the impact of family support as an intervention in treating people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) in developing countries. Family support affects PLHA on many levels and includes financial assistance, support in the disclosure process, routine daily activities, and medical assistance or psychological support. Studies from developed countries as well as relevant non-intervention studies suggest that family support makes multiple levels of positive impact on people living with HIV/AIDS. Perceived family support for HIV-positive women predicts an increase in mental health across several areas and includes reducing anxiety, stress, depressive symptoms, and loneliness over a period of time. Our main conclusion from this review, however, is that more rigorous studies are required in developing countries before substantive conclusions can be drawn about the effects of family support in reducing morbidity and mortality in HIV-infected persons.
Mohanan, P.; Kamath, A. Family support for reducing morbidity and mortality in people with HIV/AIDS. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2009) (Issue 3) Art. No.: CD006046. [DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006046.pub2]