Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has revolutionised the treatment of people living with HIV (PLWH) but those living with the virus still face the stress associated with a stigmatised, chronic illness; often experiencing multiple symptoms. While stress impacts on an individual’s quality of life, it has also been shown to adversely affect the physical parameters associated with disease progression; having been linked to declines in CD4+ count and progression to AIDS. Previous research has shown correlations between perceived stress and incidence of HIV-related symptoms, state and trait anxiety, depression and fatigue. Given that stress is a predictor of coronary heart disease and that PLWH are already at higher risk than their seronegative counterparts, the necessity to explore management options is clear; especially as patients continue to live longer lives.
- Antiretroviral therapy
- heart disease
- stress reduction
Donald, G. K., Lorimer, K., Lawrence, M., Wong, R., Winter, A., Stringer, J., & Flowers, P. (2013). Positively mindful: an investigation of mindfulness-based stress reduction as a supportive care option for people living with HIV. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 5(6), 573-574. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eujim.2013.08.010