ABSTRACT: One hundred one asymptomatic seropositive subjects (66% intravenous drug users, 22% heterosexuals and 12% homosexuals) were evaluated on demographic, medical and behavioral variables, using the Coping Orientations to the Problems Experienced and Medical Outcomes Study-HIV, together with questions on perceived social support. The homosexuals, those using coping strategies involving poor control of the situation, those with fewer years of seropositivity, and the younger and less educated subjects more frequently adopted at-risk sexual behavior. Avoidance and problem-oriented strategies were predictive of health distress, whereas a positive attitude and the search for support appeared to offer some degree of protection against stress. No medical variable among those considered turned out to be linked to health distress. This study suggests that, in asymptomatic seropositive people, coping and social support are essential in managing the disease and of moderate importance in predicting at-risk sexual behavior.
Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy 01/2001; · 1.66 Impact Factor