Individuals infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) endure a chronic disease which requires behaviour changes and psychosocial adaptation (see ‘Coping with chronic illness’). Health psychologists are in a position to make a unique contribution to the care of HIV-infected persons by designing and implementing behavioural interventions capable of facilitating these adjustments. Here we review many of the challenges facing HIV-infected persons as well as highlight potential targets for behavioural interventions. A revolution with HAART Due to the substantial reductions in morbidity and mortality associated with the advent of Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART), HIV infection is now commonly conceptualized as a chronic illness (Bangsberg et al., 2001). By directly suppressing HIV replication, HAART-treated individuals may attenuate T-helper (CD4+) cell decline and delay the onset of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). However, not all HIV-infected patients treated with HAART display adequate viral suppression which may be due in large part to suboptimal adherence as well as the emergence of drug-resistant strains of the virus (Bangsberg et al., 2001; Tamalet et al., 2003). Questions also remain regarding the appropriate time to initiate HAART in HIV-infected patients due to variability in the extent immune reconstitution, increased incidence of opportunistic infections in the months following initiation and reports of profound drug-related toxicities (Yeni et al., 2002). As a result, the current state of medical treatment for HIV infection dictates that healthcare providers take into account the dynamic interplay among contextual, patient-related and treatment-related factors in order to deliver the best possible patient care.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Cambridge Handbook of Psychology, Health and Medicine, Second Edition|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Number of pages||4|
|ISBN (Print)||9780511543579, 9780511543579|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2014|
ASJC Scopus subject areas