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J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. 2000 Mar-Apr;11(2):87-96.

Stress reduction and HIV disease: a review of intervention studies using a psychoneuroimmunology framework.

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Niehoff School of Nursing, Loyola University Chicago, Maywood, IL, USA.


The field of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) posits that relationships exist between stress, immunological impairment, and health outcomes. Accumulating evidence suggests that stress may hasten HIV disease progression by increasing viral replication, suppressing immune response, and inducing deleterious health-related behaviors. Interventions that attenuate the effects of stress are postulated to operate by altering cognitive perception and/or modulating neuroendocrine and sympathetic reactivity. A review of HIV/PNI intervention studies is presented as a guide for the inclusion of stress reduction interventions in comprehensive plans of care for HIV-infected individuals. Although effect and sample sizes are small, the results of these studies provide support for a positive effect of various interventions on immunological and health-related indices in HIV-infected individuals.

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