Psychological distress and physical pain appear to have no short-term adverse impact on plasma HIV-1 RNA levels in patients on successful HAART

Richard E. Nettles, Tara L. Kieffer, Joseph Cofrancesco, Joel E. Gallant, Thomas Quinn, Brooks Jackson, Charles Flexner, Kathryn A. Carson, Albert W. Wu, Robert F. Siliciano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Previous studies have linked depression and stressful life events in HIV disease with a more rapid decline in CD4 count and progression to AIDS. However, the short-term effect of psychological and physical distress on HIV-1 RNA levels in patients on successful HAART has not been well studied. Method: Ten asymptomatic HIV-infected adults with suppression of viremia to <50 copies/mL on a stable HAART regimen for ≥6 months were studied. Participants donated blood every 2-3 days over a 3-4 month period for duplicate independent viral load measurements and drug level monitoring. At each time point, psychological distress was measured using the Mental Health Inventory-5 (MHI-5) and an 11-point numeric rating scale for emotional stress. Physical pain was assessed using an 11-point numeric rating scale. Results: All patients maintained successful viral suppression throughout the study. Twenty-six of 713 (3.6%) viral load measurements were >50 copies/mL. Psychological distress and physical pain were not associated with episodes of detectable viremia. Conclusion: Using frequent monitoring of HIV-1 RNA levels and patient ratings of mood, stress, and pain, we found that psychological distress and physical pain had no short-term adverse impact on HIV-1 RNA levels in highly adherent patients with stable suppression of viremia on HAART.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-271
Number of pages10
JournalHIV Clinical Trials
Volume6
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2005

Keywords

  • HIV
  • Pain
  • Viral load

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