Psychosocial issues in symptomatic HIV infection

Am Fam Physician. 1991 Dec;44(6):2065-72.


Psychosocial issues are a major factor in the quality of life of a patient with advanced human immunodeficiency virus infection. To provide effective, supportive care, the physician must assess the patient's psychosocial needs, with an understanding of the patient's sociocultural background. Good communication and a multidisciplinary team approach are essential aspects of successful management. Unconditional emotional support and both verbal and nonverbal expressions of caring increase patient compliance and comfort. Appropriate treatment of neuropsychiatric syndromes and debilitating physical symptoms also add significantly to the patient's quality of life. Most importantly, the patient must be given the opportunity to be an active participant in decisions about treatment and lifestyle.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / psychology*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / therapy
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / complications
  • Mental Disorders / drug therapy
  • Patient Care Team
  • Physician's Role*
  • Social Support
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Terminal Care / psychology*