Acculturation and perceived stress in HIV+ immigrants: depression symptomatology in Asian and Pacific Islanders

AIDS Care. 2014;26(12):1581-5. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2014.936816. Epub 2014 Jul 25.


Asians and Pacific Islanders (API) are among the fastest growing minority groups within the USA, and this growth has been accompanied by an increase in HIV incidence. Between 2000 and 2010, the API HIV infection rate increased from 4.5% to 8.7%; however, there is a paucity of HIV-related research for this group, and even less is known about the prevalence and correlates of antiretroviral therapy adherence behavior, quality of life, impact of stress, and efficacious self-management among HIV+ API Americans. This paper examines how acculturation and perceived stress affect depression symptomatology and treatment seeking in the HIV+ API population. A series of cross-sectional audio computer-assisted self-interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of 50 HIV+ API (29 in San Francisco and 21 in New York City). The relationship between acculturation and perceived stress was analyzed, and the results indicate that for those HIV+ API who reported low or moderate acculturation (as compared to those who reported high acculturation), stress was significantly mediated by depression symptomology. Interventions to address acculturation and reduce perceived stress among API generally and Asians specifically are therefore needed.

Keywords: Asian and Pacific Islander; HIV; acculturation; depression; immigrants; perceived stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Asian / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / ethnology*
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / ethnology*
  • HIV Seropositivity / ethnology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander / statistics & numerical data*
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking
  • San Francisco / epidemiology
  • Social Perception*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires