Date: August 2012
Creator: Steinberg, Tara, C.
Description: Although, in the United States HIV infectivity has increased, survival rates have also improved due to highly active antiretroviral therapies (HAART). Adherence to HAART successfully prevents the progression of AIDS and AIDS-related morbidity for many living with HIV. Unfortunately, HAART’s permeability into the central nervous system (CNS) is limited; thus, the prevalence of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) still persists. The health belief model (HBM) is the theory often used to explain and predict behavior in relation to chronic illness. This model incorporates perceptions of susceptibility, vulnerability, and severity towards a particular illness, and beliefs regarding perceived efficacy and benefits of treatment. This study expands the existing model. Many who live with HIV have a long history of negative experiences, such as stigmatization, traumatic events, and discrimination. I examined supplementary psychosocial and physiological predictor variables, such as stigma, trauma, ethnicity, general medical conditions, HIV-opportunistic infections, and falls; all relevant to disease progression in HIV. Previous researchers found links between stigma and immune function, trauma and memory, ethnicity and neuropsychological impairment, and symptom load and CNS-related alterations. Therefore, this study examined how these different psychosocial predictor variables are associated with HIV-related neurocognitive impairment. My model explained 38.6% of the variance in the ...
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