Psychosocial Issues in the Era of New AIDS Treatments from the Perspective of Persons Living with HIV.

Journal of health psychology

PubMedID: 22049192

Bogart LM, Catz SL, Kelly JA, Gray-Bernhardt ML, Hartmann BR, Otto-Salaj LL, Hackl KL, Bloom FR. Psychosocial Issues in the Era of New AIDS Treatments from the Perspective of Persons Living with HIV. J Health Psychol. 2000;5(4):500-16.
In the past, HIV disease meant an almost invariably downward health course. New highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) regimens have improved the health outlook for many persons living with HIV/AIDS but may create new psychological and coping challenges. In this study, open-ended, in-depth interviews were undertaken with an ethnically diverse sample of 44 purposively selected men and women with HIV disease who were on HAART regimens. The interviews were transcribed and qualitatively coded to identify major themes. While patients responding well to the regimens held optimistic views for their future, some who continued to have detectable viral load exhibited depression and feelings of hopelessness. Many patients reported stress associated with the demands of adhering to complex HAART regimens. Other common themes emerging in the interviews involved concerns about employment, romantic and non-romantic relationship formation, sexual behavior and serostatus disclosure, whether to plan families, and experiences of AIDS-related discrimination. There continue to be critical roles for psychological services in the care of persons living with HIV.