Psychosocial treatment studies provide a method for conducting causal investigations within a clinical environment. They can also inform about relations between psychosocial or biobehavioral processes on the one hand, and disease on the other. Our studies conducted on HIV-positive (HIV+) homosexual men indicate that a group-based cognitive behavioral stress management (CBSM) intervention can decrease distress, buffer the psychological and immunological sequelae of HIV+ serostatus notification, and improve surveillance of herpes viruses. Decreased dysphoria induced by CBSM appears to be a significant mediator of control over cellular immunity. Poor HIV+ African American women, as well as more affluent gay men, benefit from group-based CBSM, but important gender and sociocultural differences must be taken into account in developing protocols. Adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), coupled with good health behavior, can contain HIV/AIDS in most instances. In contrast, poor HAART adherence coupled with poor health behavior (e.g., unprotected sex) can lead to drag resistance and infection of partners with virulent mutated strains. Thus, now more than ever, behavioral medicine approaches to management and secondary prevention of HIV/AIDS are needed.
- Cellular immunity
- Cognitive behavioral stress management
- Psychosocial intervention
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology