Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Activism may help those with AIDS cope better with illness


The world AIDS conference last month offered a large dose of grim news about the disease and its precursor, HIV.

But a new university study suggests that there is at least one glimmer of hope.

In a recent article in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, researchers report that social activism in groups such as ACT UP may have a positive effect on the way people with AIDS and HIV cope with their medical and psychological problems.

The research team found that in comparison with nonactivists, activist group members used more problem-focused coping and less emotion-focused coping; had greater knowledge of HIV-treatment information sources; and had greater integration into networks of people living with HIV or AIDS.

"Many individuals living with HIV or AIDS have engaged in social activism and advocating for their health-care needs," said Dale Brashers, the lead author and a professor of speech communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "They have had a major impact on the

health-care system, such as changes in how prescription drugs are tested and approved. Now it appears that their behaviors also are reflected in more active engagement with their health-care providers and more fully developed support networks of other people living with the disease. There appear to be advantages to a more active orientation toward health care."

The study, involving a survey of 174 people, mostly gay white males, is the first of its kind and "an important step toward developing theories about the impact of activist group membership on individual members," Brashers said.

Although collective action has been a significant part of the political and cultural contexts of people living with HIV or AIDS, "little is known about the individual characteristics and behavioral patterns of those who engage in social activism," he said. Other findings:

  • Asked to name sources of information about AIDS or HIV, activists were more likely to list nontraditional sources -- Internet sites and pharmaceutical companies -- whereas nonactivists were more likely to list traditional sources -- health-care providers and the media.

  • Activist group members had higher levels of education and had known about their AIDS or HIV-positive status longer than had nonactivists (72.1 months versus 53.7 months).

  • Activist members were more likely to receive services and volunteer at AIDS service organizations.

There is much left to do in this new area of research, including work that explores "the ways in which these variables are connected to health outcomes," Brashers said.

Brashers is completing a study that focuses on the connection between activism and improved physical and mental health. Currently testing a skills-training program, he will be looking at the data within the next few months.

Andrea Lynn | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>