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Psychosocial issues affect HIV/AIDS treatment outcomes: UNC researcher
Date:6/18/2008

us on the patient and should be a routine practice in any multi-disciplinary and comprehensive approach to HIV treatment."

Such inquiries could have a positive impact on patient care if they lead to appropriate referrals for psychological and behavioral treatment, Leserman said.

"In these populations with high psychosocial disturbance, there is also a documented higher proportion of risky behaviors such as lack of adherence to treatment that translates into a higher likelihood of developing drug resistance," Leserman said. "Patients developing drug resistance become harder to treat and more likely to pass on a resistant strain of the virus."

Leserman believes more research is needed to investigate the biological and behavioral mediators of the relationship between psychosocial issues and the immune system, and the types of interventions that could lessen the negative health impact of chronic depression and trauma.

"We need ways to integrate what we're learning into the routine practice of medicine," Leserman said. "At one time, psychosocial issues may have seemed irrelevant, but now a wealth of research is indicating that we must pay attention to these factors. Although psychosocial research in HIV is fast becoming a well accepted and traveled road, many questions remain. This field is not yet a super highway."


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Contact: Les Lang
llang@med.unc.edu
919-966-9366
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Source:Eurekalert

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