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date: 28 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter summarizes the role of psychological, social/interpersonal, and behavioral processes associated with psychosocial adjustment and health status in HIV-infected individuals. The chapter begins by presenting the nature of HIV infection in terms of physical and mental health challenges. Next we review the evidence that life stressors, coping strategies, social resources, and health behaviors influence mental (mood and quality of life) and physical (immune status, progression to AIDS) health status in persons with HIV. The chapter culminates in a summary of the rationale for the use of psychosocial interventions in HIV/AIDS. We present some of the more well-researched intervention approaches designed to modify stress and coping processes, summarize the evidence for the efficacy of these interventions in effecting optimal mental and physical health outcomes in persons living with HIV, and outline the putative mechanisms underlying these effects in support of a biobehavioral model.

Keywords: cognitive-behavioral stress management, HIV/AIDS, psychoneuroimmunology, highly active antiretroviral therapy, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, sympathetic nervous system

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