Coping strategies and emotional wellbeing among HIV-infected men and women experiencing AIDS-related bereavement.


Journal Article

AIDS influences the psychological coping not only of the person with the disease but also those close to that individual. Following a death from AIDS, family members and friends may experience atypical bereavement. Bereavement coping challenges can be especially difficult and pronounced for persons who are themselves HIV-positive. The prevalence of AIDS-related bereavement and psychosocial predictors of grief severity were examined in an ethnically diverse sample of 199 HIV-infected men and women. Eighty per cent of HIV-positive respondents had experienced the loss of someone close to AIDS, the majority of whom had sustained multiple and repetitive losses. Two-thirds of the participants who had experienced an AIDS-related loss reported grief symptoms in the past month. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that grief was most closely associated with emotional suppression and avoiding coping strategies, with residual variance related to depression. Interventions for AIDS-related bereavement that reduce distress and maladaptive ways of coping are needed in order to meet the secondary prevention needs of bereaved people living with HIV/AIDS.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sikkema, KJ; Kalichman, SC; Hoffmann, R; Koob, JJ; Kelly, JA; Heckman, TG

Published Date

  • October 2000

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 12 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 613 - 624

PubMed ID

  • 11218547

Pubmed Central ID

  • 11218547

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1360-0451

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0954-0121

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/095401200750003798


  • eng