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Medicineworld.org: HIV Survivors Prompts New Treatment Studies

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HIV Survivors Prompts New Treatment Studies

HIV Survivors Prompts New Treatment Studies
A number of patients diagnosed with HIV in the 1980s and 1990s have survived and now are entering their golden years. AIDs cases among the over-50 crowd reached 90,000 in 2003, and as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will account for half of all HIV/AIDS cases in the United States by 2015.

Consequently, health care providers and social service workers are pioneering new ground to treat the growing number of HIV-positive elderly adults. Timothy Heckman, an Ohio University health psychology expert, has been on the forefront of research involving HIV-infected elderly adults.

Heckman recently received a $1.5 million, four-year grant from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Nursing Research to nationally test the effectiveness of a telephone support group for elderly adults with HIV.

Seniors often feel embarrassment or out-of-place among what is commonly a gathering of young people at traditional AIDS support groups. The seniors have different needs, which may not be met, or they may be uncomfortable talking about issues, such as sex, among younger people.

"The telephone, as a tool for delivering support, is financially and psychologically easier for a number of elderly adults," said Heckman, who has spent the past eight years conducting AIDs research among the elderly and in rural populations.

A project four years ago observed that a telephone support program reduced depression for rural seniors. The results of that study were reported in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine last year. Now Heckman plans to expand the geographical scope of the study and increase the number of participants.

"A separate study we conducted of elderly adults observed that support groups which are designed to teach them skills to handle stress, obtain social support and cope more adaptively are more effective than brief treatment sessions initiated by the person or support groups where participants only discuss problems but do not receive what is called coping intervention therapy," Heckman said.

He will further test that concept through the telephone support group study. Nearly 400 participants of the project will be divided among three treatment models, ranging from a 12-week telephone-delivered support group with sessions designed to improve the participants' coping skills to less active treatment sessions in which participants receive individual guidance only upon request.


Posted by: Mark    Source




Did you know?
A number of patients diagnosed with HIV in the 1980s and 1990s have survived and now are entering their golden years. AIDs cases among the over-50 crowd reached 90,000 in 2003, and as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will account for half of all HIV/AIDS cases in the United States by 2015.

Medicineworld.org: HIV Survivors Prompts New Treatment Studies

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