COVID-19, Employment, and Quality of Life Among People Living With HIV

Publication Date



The COVID-19 pandemic led to substantial changes in the work conditions related to employment status and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of many people. The pandemic also magnified systemic inequities among marginalized groups, including people with disabilities and chronic illnesses, and people living with HIV (PLHIV). The purpose of this study is to (a) understand PLHIV’s employment status, employment needs, and use of employment services during the COVID-19 pandemic; and (b) to examine the factors associated with HRQOL among both employed and unemployed PLHIV during the COVID-19 pandemic. This cross-sectional survey study was conducted from 2020 to 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in the U.S. We used both online surveys and structured phone interviews for data collection. A total of 759 responses were used in the current analysis. Study findings show that 65.5% of the employed participants experienced changes in work conditions (i.e., layoffs, reduced work hours, furloughs) and 73% of the unemployed participants reported that the pandemic had an impact on their interest and/or ability to enter employment. Our results show that concern about contracting COVID-19 at work or commuting to work, and employment status have significant relationships with HRQOL. Implications for rehabilitation counseling practice and research are discussed.


Rehabilitation Counselors and Educators Journal