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Distress in Persons with HIV and AIDS 

Distress in Persons with HIV and AIDS
Distress in Persons with HIV and AIDS

Mary Ann Cohen

, Anna L. Dickerman

, and Harold W. Goforth

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date: 13 July 2020

Persons with HIV have multifactorial and multidimensional sources of distress. Distress has a profoundly negative impact on persons with HIV and their loved ones. While the term distress is more acceptable to patients and does not carry with it the stigma of a specific psychiatric diagnostic disorder, the anguish and suffering associated are still painful. This chapter explores the sources for distress utilizing a comprehensive biopsychosocial approach and presents ways to recognize distress. Related tools in assessing HIV-related distress include the Distress Thermometer (DT), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and HIV Symptom Distress Scale (SDS). An overview of the symptoms and illnesses associated with distress include biological, psychological, and social aspects including HIV stigma. Evidence-based approaches to alleviate distress in persons with HIV/AIDS are also presented in the chapter.

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