Psychological and Biobehavioral Processes in HIV Disease

Authored by: Michael H. Antoni , Adam W. Carrico

Handbook of Health Psychology

Print publication date:  December  2011
Online publication date:  April  2012

Print ISBN: 9780805864618
eBook ISBN: 9780203804100
Adobe ISBN: 9781136638299


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This chapter will focus on the application of health psychology in the context of human immuno deficiency virus and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS). Over the past 30 years, health psychology has emerged as a mainstream area of scientific inquiry that is broadly concerned with contributing to the prevention and treatment of disease. A number of psychologists in this dynamic field draw upon basic psychobiological theory and research to develop investigations that are aimed at enhancing the capacity of individuals to manage a variety of such chronic medical conditions as coronary heart disease, different cancers, and HIV/AIDS. Although health psychology is becoming increasingly specialized as a result of dramatic advances in our understanding of the basic pathophysiology of a number of chronic diseases, the field is unified by an explicit focus on research that (a) examines the role of psychological factors in the prevention or amelioration of disease, and (b) elucidates the biobehavioral pathways that explain the effects of psychological factors on disease management and course (see Figure 33.1).

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