Psychosocial Perspectives on AIDS: Etiology, Prevention, and Treatment

By Lydia Temoshok; Andrew Baum | Go to book overview

11
Understanding Attributions and Health Behavior Changes in AIDS and ARC: Implications for Interventions

Jeffrey M. Moulton David M. Sweet Lydia Temoshok School of Medicine University of California, San Francisco

Distress experienced by people with AIDS (PWA) and people with ARC (PWARC) transcends the medical dimensions of the disease. This distress negatively affects their ability to function, health behaviors, social behaviors, and possibly the trajectory of disease. Understanding the sources and consequences of this distress and the means to ameliorate it are paramount as the AIDS epidemic widens and a cure or vacinne is still nowhere in sight.

With the current AIDS situation in San Francisco as our guide and with an eye toward the future, we present the following considerations about the relationships of attributions of blame, responsibility, and perceived control over one's health to psychosocial distress in a general review, and in a specific study of 103 gay men with AIDS and ARC. In addition, we offer some suggestions for clinical interventions.


ATTRIBUTIONS OF BLAME, RESPONSIBILITY, AND CONTROL IN RELATION TO PSYCHOSOCIAL DISTRESS

As in other diseases in which casual links to personal behavior are assumed, such as lung cancer, contracting AIDS and ARC has been associated with factors of personal responsibility and blame since it was first labled as "gay-

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