Levels and Correlates of Psychological Distress in Male Couples of Mixed HIV Status

Published in: AIDS Care, v. 15, no. 4, Aug. 2003, p. 525-538

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2002

by Robert H. Remien, Glenn Wagner, Curtis Dolezal, Alex Carballo-Dieguez

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Few studies have analyzed the impact of HIV infection on dyadic functioning and on the distress levels of each partner, independently, in HIV-serodiscordant relationships, particularly in same-sex dyads. The main purpose of this study was to assess levels of psychological distress in the HIV-positive and HIV-negative members of HIV-discordant male couples and to explore possible couple-related factors associated with distress. This was done within a systems theory framework. Levels of distress among the men were in the mild to moderate range, according to general population norms. Factors associated with distress in the men included dyadic satisfaction, sexual satisfaction, avoidance and self-blame coping style, and support from one's partner. Results suggest the need for 'couple-focused' clinical interventions for HIV-discordant couples.

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