AIDS Cocktail: Medicine, Faith and Trust
March 20, 2002
Long-term AIDS survivors are far more likely than those whose disease progresses faster to be caring altruists with strong spiritual faith and trust in their doctors, suggest studies released over the weekend. There is growing evidence that patients who live longer are significantly different from those who start out just as well but fall ill sooner, said psychiatrist Gail Ironson of the University of Miami. She reported findings from several studies of 182 HIV-positive men and women at the recent American Psychosomatic Society meeting in Barcelona. Although some studies have linked personal qualities to a better prognosis with AIDS, Ironson's is the first in which most patients were taking protease inhibitors.
"Even with lifesaving drugs," Ironson says, "this shows that psychological factors are still important in predicting who's going to become a long survivor." Several studies from Ironson's research team show:
"You can't change your family, but the take-home message is to find friends or a support group that will accept you, and get into a positive work environment if you can," Ironson said.
03.19.02; Marilyn Elias
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.