Bereavement and HIV infection

Karl Goodkin, Nancy T. Blaney, Raymond S. Tuttle, Rhonda H. Nelson, Teri Baldewicz, Mahendra Kumar, Mary Ann Fletcher, Barbara Leeds, Daniel J. Feaster

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The loss of a loved one is a potent and frequent life stressor for those infected with HIV and those at risk for infection. Early in the epidemic, bereavement in homosexual men was associated with increased distress in a dose-response relationship with the number of losses. More recent research suggests that this is not the case, though a relationship with increased grief level and with perceived self-threat is still recognized. A change in the form of bereavement response to a reaction resembling chronic, post-traumatic distress is also possible. Future research wing a stressor-support-coping model is advocated to investigate this possibility. Studies on the effect of bereavement should be conducted with other HIV infected and at-risk groups. Brief, supportive, group psychotherapy for recent loss and total loss burden due to HIV/AIDS is advocated to prevent associated psychological morbidity. The effects of such interventions on immune measures and the clinical progression of HIV disease also merits investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-216
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Review of Psychiatry
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Sep 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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