A stress and coping model of medication adherence and viral load in HIV-positive men and women on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)

Health Psychol. 2005 Jul;24(4):385-392. doi: 10.1037/0278-6133.24.4.385.


The authors tested a structural model that incorporated age, time since diagnosis, social support, coping, and negative mood as predictors of medication adherence and HIV viral load on 188 men and 134 women on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). The authors used psychosocial latent factors formed from baseline measures to predict latent factors of adherence, as assessed by electronic monitoring and self-report, and viral load defined by indicators assessed over a 15-month period. Results from the model indicate that greater negative mood and lower social support are related to greater use of avoidance-oriented coping strategies. Use of these coping strategies by patients on HAART is related to poorer medication adherence and, subsequently, higher viral load. This model advances researchers' understanding of the contribution of psychosocial variables in predicting treatment adherence and disease progression in HIV-positive men and women.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active*
  • Female
  • Florida
  • HIV Seropositivity / drug therapy*
  • HIV Seropositivity / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Social Support
  • Viral Load*