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Psychosom Med. 1998 May-Jun;60(3):235-44.

Social separation, housing relocation, and survival in simian AIDS: a retrospective analysis.

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Department of Psychology, California Regional Primate Research Center, University of California, Davis 95616, USA.



To test the hypothesis that changes in housing, particularly those involving social separations, would have a negative impact on survival in rhesus monkeys experimentally inoculated with the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV).


An archival methodology was used. Colony records at four Regional Primate Research Centers were screened, and data pertaining to demographics, contents of the inoculum, medical history before and after inoculation, and housing relocations and social companions were coded. The final sample size totaled 298 individuals.


Following statistical control of covariates, housing relocations and social separations in the 90-day period before SIV inoculation and in the 30-day period after inoculation were associated with decreased survival. There was evidence that housing disruptions occurring earlier after inoculation were associated with shorter survival. Finally, a subset of animals was found to have been socially housed after SIV inoculation; such experience had negative consequences for survival.


The results indicate that psychosocial experiences that likely produce a stressful state are associated with shorter survival in SIV-infected monkeys.

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