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Table 2 Comparison of women (n = 78) and men (n = 90) on the 20 most common symptoms: Frequency of attribution to HIV and antiretroviral therapy (ART), total frequency and mean severity (scale from 0 -3)

From: HIV or HIV-Therapy? Causal attributions of symptoms and their impact on treatment decisions among women and men with HIV

Symptom HIV (%) ART (%) Total (%) Severity M ± SD
  women men women men women men women men
Fatigue 19** 40** 24* 11* 82 78 1.69 ± 1.05 1.50 ± 0.99
Lack of energy 24* 41* 18 11 74 74 1.56 ± 1.13 1.42 ± 1.03
Mood swings 22 17 9 9 72 62 1.40 ± 1.14 1.13 ± 1.08
Dry skin 9 10 23 26 67 66 1.29 ± 1.08 1.24 ± 1.11
Intestinal gas 6 6 30 32 63 63 1.27 ± 1.15 1.22 ± 1.11
Fat loss from limbs/buttocks/face 5* 16* 42 37 56 67 1.26 ± 1.24 1.36 ± 1.23
Sleep disturbances 10 14 19 14 63 60 1.17 ± 1.16 1.20 ± 1.12
Depressed feelings 22 17 10 11 63 59 1.23 ± 1.16 1.07 ± 1.10
Loss of stamina 26 30 9 11 60 61 1.18 ± 1.16 1.20 ± 1.12
Lethargy 18 27 14 11 59 60 1.15 ± 1.15 1.11 ± 1.08
Pain/numbness in hands/feet 12 19 19 19 56 61 1.17 ± 1.18 1.17 ± 1.09
Prominent veins 3* 12* 32 29 49 62 1.10 ± 1.25 1.31 ± 1.19
Lack of interest in sex 14 14 13 23 54 62 1.00 ± 1.23 1.13 ± 1.05
Difficulties concentrating 17 26 18* 7* 56 52 1.05 ± 1.07 0.78 ± 1.07
Night sweats 24 24 8 12 50 58 0.85 ± 1.01 1.02 ± 1.04
Diarrhea 8 14 25 28 47 57 0.82 ± 1.00 1.09 ± 1.09
Headache 10 8 8 24 50 56 0.91 ± 1.07 0.89 ± 0.98
Skin itching 9 11 18 23 47 57 0.81 ± 0.98 0.94 ± 1.01
Fat gain in abdomen 1 7 32 26 51 56 1.03 ± 1.14 0.84 ± 1.07
Muscle aches 6 9 21 14 45 50 0.92 ± 1.16 0.79 ± 0.93
  1. Chi square test indicates significant difference between men and women at: *p < .05 and **p < .01