Altruism and Health in HIV

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

16 Scopus citations


This chapter presents research on altruism and health in the context of people living with AIDS. It begins with a review of the literature on AIDS patients who volunteer to help others with the illness. This literature indicates that, as a result of such helping, the volunteers develop a positive sense of self, increase safer sex behaviours, and feel at greater peace with regard to their own future deaths. It then turns to the chapter's own research on a group of seventy-nine long-term survivors of AIDS (people who have survived twice as long as expected), who were compared with a group who had AIDS with a normal course of the illness. The long survivors were significantly more likely to have engaged in AIDS volunteerism and had significantly less depression, anxiety, and perceived stress. In a subsequent study on the psychological predictors of slower disease progression, the chapter again notes that volunteering, giving to charities, and expressing caring for others are related to better prognosis in AIDS and to less emotional distress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAltruism and Health
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives from Empirical Research
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199786794
ISBN (Print)9780195182910
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007


  • AIDS patients
  • Altruistic behaviour
  • Health
  • Volunteering
  • Volunteerism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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