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Study: coping skills can boost HIV survival

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Miss Philicia:
Common sense to many of us but it's interesting that someone attempted to measure this.

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--- Quote ---HIV patients live longer if they face stress by venting their feelings, taking a realistic view of threats to their health and keeping a sense of self-worth, a study suggested over the weekend.
The findings add to growing evidence that how HIV-positive patients cope with their trauma can affect how rapidly the disease progresses. The study on 174 men and women was reported at the American Psychosomatic Society meeting here.

Participants were asked at the start to write an essay describing their emotional responses to a traumatic life event. Most wrote about HIV problems. Their blood was drawn to measure virus-fighting CD-4 cells and viral load; CD-4 cells decline and viral load increases as HIV progresses. Then blood was redrawn every six months for four years.

Researchers who didn't know the patients' blood results analyzed their essays for four qualities:

•Realism: Not exaggerating or minimizing the health threat.

•Good self-esteem: Patients finding positive qualities in themselves.

•Approaching problems head-on: Not ignoring HIV-related troubles or running away through drug or alcohol use.

•Emotional venting: Not feeling too paralyzed to express emotions.
--- End quote ---

Ihavehope:
Interesting. Docs and people have said this to many of us over and over but I am happy to see that there is evidence.

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