Impact of bereavement on progression of AIDS and HIV infection: a review.
BACKGROUND: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease is associated with bereavement and grief reactions brought about by the disease process itself and by the losses of loved ones. OBJECTIVE: The goal of this review is to assess the current literature regarding grief, HIV, and immunity. METHOD: The authors reviewed applicable articles retrieved from a MEDLINE literature search with the search terms "bereavement/HIV," "grief/HIV," and "immunity/grief/HIV." RESULTS: Data continue to emerge that suggest a profound role for bereavement in mediating HIV illness and the need to effectively deal with bereavement issues. CONCLUSIONS: Patients who experience maladaptive grief show more rapid losses of CD4 T-cells over time, even when controlling for age, health status, use of antiretrovirals, and illicit drug abuse. This immune dysfunction may be managed by a variety of psychotherapeutic techniques.
Goforth, HW; Lowery, J; Cutson, TM; McMillan, ES; Kenedi, C; Cohen, MA
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