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Soc Sci Med. 1997 Sep;45(6):915-23.

The physical costs of AIDS caregiving.

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  • 1Department of Sociology, University of Maryland, College Park 20742-1315, USA.


Informal care has become an increasingly important element in the delivery of health and social services to people living with HIV disease or AIDS (PWAs), yet the provision of such care does not come without costs to the caregiver. Instead, caregiving imposes burdens that may compromise caregiver health. Common ailments among AIDS caregivers were examined with two waves of data from a diverse sample of informal care providers in Los Angeles and San Francisco (N = 642). Symptoms of poor physical health are markedly present among AIDS caregivers and are significantly associated with care-related demands and stressors. This stress and health relationship varies significantly between caregivers who are HIV seropositive and those who are seronegative. Care-related effects are more direct among seronegative caregivers who are perhaps less overwhelmed with the maintenance of their own health. For all caregivers studied, level of depression and prior physical health are strong correlates of these physical ailments. Implications of these results are discussed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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