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PozQoL informs the Australian National HIV Strategy through the HIV Futures Study

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PozQoL informs the Australian National HIV Strategy through the HIV Futures Study


03 September 2021
By Dr Jennifer Power

HIV Futures is a survey of QoL among PLHIV in Australia. The survey runs every two to three years, and has been running since 1997.

Australian Government Targets

By the end of 2022, the Australian Government aims to increase the proportion of:

  • People with HIV who are diagnosed to 95%
  • People diagnosed with HIV who are on treatment to 95%
  • Those on treatment for whom HIV cannot be detected in their body to 95%

In addition, the government aims to see 75% of people living with HIV (PLHIV) reporting good quality of life (QoL) by 2022.

HIV Futures

The Australian Department of Health funds HIV Futures. The findings from the survey help to show whether or not Australia has reached the target of 75% of PLHIV reporting good QoL.

The HIV Futures study also collects information from PLHIV about:

  • Health and wellbeing
  • Financial and housing security
  • Treatment use
  • Service access
  • HIV-related stigma
  • Social support

Government and community organisations use this information to plan their services.

HIV Futures 9 (2018 and 2019)

The HIV Futures 9 survey, which ran in 2018 and 2019, included two measures of QoL in the survey:

  • The PozQoL Scale
  • One question asking people to tell us about their overall wellbeing

We also included another general health and wellbeing scale, namely the short-form 36 (SF 36) questionnaire.

We used PozQoL because it is a short questionnaire that has been specifically developed to focus on factors that are likely to affect QoL among PLHIV. These include things such as stigma, daily use of antiretroviral medication, and fears about becoming unwell in the future. For this reason, PozQoL is a more nuanced and specific QoL measure than other generic health-related QoL scales. This makes it appropriate to use for long-term monitoring of QoL in this population.

However, as PozQoL is specific to people living with HIV, we also included a general and widely used health and wellbeing scale (SF36) so we had data to compare our findings with those from surveys of the general population or people living with other chronic conditions.

Findings from HIV Futures 9

In HIV Futures 9, 63.1% of survey respondents reported a PozQoL score of 3.0 or higher, which indicates good QoL. In other words, 63.1% reported good QoL, while 36.9% reported poorer QoL.

People who reported good QoL in the PozQoL scale were more likely to report good overall wellbeing. This suggests that QoL is related to general health and wellbeing and that the PozQoL scale is useful in measuring this.

People who reported good QoL were more likely to:

  • Be in the paid workforce
  • Have a higher income
  • Have no recent financial stress
  • Live in an inner city area
  • Have better general health
  • Have a greater level of connectedness to others
  • Live with a partner or spouse

You can find more information information about the HIV Futures 9 Study in the executive summary and the full report.

HIV Futures 10 (2021)

The HIV Futures 10 survey is currently open!

If you are a person living with HIV in Australia and are keen to take part, please complete the survey at:

The survey will remain open until March 2022.

About the author and organisation

Jennifer Power is an Associate Professor and Principal Research Fellow at the Australia Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS). She leads the HIV Futures Study.

ARCSHS is a centre for social research into sexuality, health, and the social dimensions of human relationships. You can follow their work on Twitter and Facebook.

Header image from the cover of the HIV Futures 9 report

Queensland Positive People (QPP) using PozQoL in Life+ Program

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Queensland Positive People (QPP) using PozQoL in Life+ Program

Community and peer services

30 October 2020
By Jason Radcliffe

Queensland Positive People (QPP) uses the PozQol Scale within our Life+ program.

The Life+ program focuses on:

  • Supporting early initiation of treatment
  • Encouraging adherence to treatment
  • Supporting people living with HIV (PLHIV) to remain in care

The program aims to reduce the time from diagnosis to treatment initiation, and thereby prevent HIV disease progression and reduce the possibility of onward transmission. Case Managers and Peer Navigators work with PLHIV to address barriers to treatment initiation, adherence, and retention in care. This is achieved by building the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively self-manage HIV.

Life+ staff provide PLHIV with intensive support to ensure they are connected to health, community, and peer support services. Emotional support is a critical element within the Life+ program, and staff aim to create linkages between PLHIV and peers to support mental health and wellbeing.

Life+ consists of three main services that provide integrated and complementary services for PLHIV.

These are:

  • Treatment and support services
  • Stigma and discrimination services
  • Peer navigation

How we use PozQoL

The PozQol Scale is embedded within all Life+ client surveys. We administer these surveys at intake and closure.

Currently, QPP uses the English version of the PozQol scale. However, we do provide services to clients from non-English speaking backgrounds. Feedback both from these clients and from peer navigators has prompted discussions about using other versions of PozQoL. A future redesign of our client surveys will allow us to use the scale other languages.

Why we chose PozQoL

We chose to use PozQoL due to its relevance to QPP’s target population. Australian people with HIV collaborated in developing and validating the PozQoL Scale. This made it the obvious choice when deciding which QoL tool to utilise throughout the Life+ program.

What is useful about PozQoL

Due to the nature of our organisation and the aims of the Life+ program, a measure of the quality of life experienced by our clients is vital.

We use the information from PozQoL to support the notion that our service is achieving our pre-determined outcome measures. In future, Life+ client workers may also use this information to identify priority areas for individual clients (relating to the four PozQol domains).

Using a conditional sample, we have observed that people who access Life+ services report improved quality of life at closure.

About the author and organisation

Jason Radcliffe is the Public Health Officer at QPP.

QPP is a peer-based advocacy organisation. They promote self-determination and empowerment for all PLHIV throughout Queensland.

For more information on QPP’s Life+ program, please contact QPP via the contact details below:

Free call: 1800 636 241
Phone (within Australia): (07) 3013 5555
Phone (outside Australia): +61 7 3013 5555


Header image provided by  Queensland Positive People

PozQoL an invaluable tool, helping support people living with HIV in Montreal

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PozQoL an invaluable tool, helping support people living with HIV in Montreal

Community and peer services

28 September 2020
Story provided by ViiV Healthcare

PozQoL is being used in Le Cercle Orange, a Canadian project supporting people living with HIV (PLHIV) who do not have access to health care.

Le Cercle Orange is a 2-year, city-wide, community-based project in Montreal, Canada. The project supports PLHIV without access to health care, such as, immigrants, international students, and Canadian residents without health coverage.

Le Cercle Orange is a cost-free referral and support service that guides participants to services within its network, including:

  • Ongoing essential HIV health services
  • Access to treatment
  • Legal information
  • Community resources

The project started integrating PozQoL in July 2020 into the assessments and follow ups for project participants. It is an indispensable tool, allowing the project to track the quality of life of participants, and helping to ensure continuity of services.

French, French Canadian, English, and Spanish versions have been used so far. However, as the project mostly addresses the needs of migrants, other languages may be used across this 2-year project.

About the author/organisation

ViiV Healthcare is an independent HIV company, committed to delivering innovative new options for the care and treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS.

Header image by Matthias Mullie on Unsplash

PozQoL helping improve understanding of HRQoL among PLHIV in the United States

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PozQoL helping improve understanding of HRQoL among PLHIV in the United States

Clinical services • Research

18 September 2020
Story provided by ViiV Healthcare

Multiple studies use PozQoL to help understand the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in the United States .

Large cohort study of HRQoL within clinic sites of the CNICS research network

PozQoL is one of a number of instruments helping improve understanding of the HRQoL among PLHIV in care in the United States. The research will be conducted within a cohort collaboration of HIV clinical care sites across the United States.

PozQol is one of the study’s core patient-reported outcome instruments. Throughout the study, researchers will administer PozQoL to 1,000 patients.

Due to the large, diverse sample of PLHIV involved in the study, it will also provide:

  • Further assessment of the measurement properties and validity of PozQoL
  • Insights into its acceptability, time burden, and impact in clinical care

The study is scheduled to report in 2021.

Aging with Dignity, Health, Optimism and Community (ADHOC)

ADHOC is an online community and research study for people aged over 50 living with HIV. The ADHOC team uses PozQoL to help conduct and report on multiple studies each year. This work draws upon ADHOC’s existing research platform that connects 10 sites and over 1,000 patients.

Real-World Insights of PLHIV Shared Through Electronic Devices (RISE) Study

The 2018 RISE study was an online, cross-sectional survey of the impact living with HIV has on patients’ lives. Researchers used PozQoL as one of the measurement instruments.

About the author/organisation

ViiV Healthcare is an independent HIV company, committed to delivering innovative new options for the care and treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS.

Header image by Luke Michael on Unsplash

Aotearoa New Zealand study using PozQoL to help understand HIV stigma and discrimination

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Aotearoa New Zealand Study Using PozQoL To Help Understand HIV Stigma And Discrimination

Clinical services • Research

14 September 2020
Story included with permission from Dr. Sue McAllister at the University of Otago

The HIV-positive network groups, New Zealand, are working together with other stakeholder groups on the People Living With HIV Stigma Index Study.

They aim to describe the stigma and discrimination that people living with HIV experience in Aotearoa New Zealand. The study uses PozQoL as one of the outcome measures. Data analysis is underway.

Watch this space for an upcoming post about their experiences using PozQoL as part of this important research!

Header image by Douglas Bagg on Unsplash

Living Positive Victoria — Using PozQoL to monitor and evaluate peer programs

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Living Positive Victoria — Using PozQoL to monitor and evaluate peer programs

Community and peer services

11 September 2020
By Timothy Krulic

At Living Positive Victoria, we use PozQoL to monitor and evaluate our peer programs and services.

Peer-based approaches are informed by lived experience and community engagement. This environment is reassuring and de-stigmatising for people living with HIV.

Our services are where people living with HIV can find the information they need. At the same time, they can meet and see other people living well with HIV. This experience helps to dispel misconceptions and address self-stigma. It is also an opportunity to find support and build connections within the community.

All of these things improve quality of life for people living with HIV.

We know this from experience, but having evidence is also important. Good quality data supports our evaluation and learning. It also helps us build our credibility within the HIV care sector.

We use PozQoL to evaluate programs where we expect to see relatively quick improvement in quality of life.

These services include our peer navigation program, workshops for people recently diagnosed with HIV, and courses for people ageing with HIV. These programs offer timely support, address immediate concerns associated with a new diagnosis, and enable long-term self-management.

The PozQoL Scale is a tool that helps us monitor and evaluate the client-level impacts of our programs and services

The scale measures areas of HIV-related quality of life that we hope to see improve when people use our services.

These include clients’ self-perceptions of:

  • Their social wellbeing and belonging
  • HIV stigma
  • Their capacity and confidence to manage their diagnosis and live well with HIV

Our staff trust PozQoL. We know that the scale is accurate and sensitive because it was developed and rigorously tested by people living with HIV.

The scale is short, making it easy to fit into the brief forms and online surveys we ask clients to complete. Most clients are happy and able to complete the scale themselves. We provide in-person guidance for people who need additional support with their English reading and writing or with using online platforms.

About the author and organisation

Timothy Krulic is a Health Promotion Officer at Living Positive Victoria.

Living Positive Victoria is a peer-led organisation in Victoria, Australia. They provide support and services for people in Victoria who are living with, or affected by, HIV.

Timothy produces health promotion content for members. He works across peer education, peer support, research, and evaluation.

Header image provided by Living Positive Victoria

PozQoL used as an outcome measure in South Korean study

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PozQoL used as an outcome measure in South Korean study

Clinical services • Research

20 July 2020
Story provided by ViiV Healthcare

Together with ViiV Healthcare, Yonsei University and Severance Hospital in Seoul, South Korea, are using PozQoL in their research with people living with HIV (PLHIV).

Their study looks at cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for PLHIV:

  • Delivered by nurses
  • Focusing on treatment adherence and depression

They hope to demonstrate that such therapy:

  • Is effective and acceptable
  • Helps decrease symptoms of depression
  • Improves quality of life
  • Decreases the impact of stigma
  • Improves adherence to HIV treatment

PozQoL is one of the outcome measures used in the study.

Dr. Duncan Short delivered an update on some of the study’s early findings at the AIDS2020 Conference.

About the author/organisation

ViiV Healthcare is an independent HIV company, committed to delivering innovative new options for the care and treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS.