Counseling and HIV: Theoretical consequences of an empirical research

M. Victoria Gordillo Álvarez-Valdés.


This article is a consequence of an empirical research about the association between psychological and social variables and adherence to treatment in HIV infected patients. We present here theoretical conclusions infered from the empirical data and the literature about this topic.

The discussion is about four subjects: what counseling means in clinical practice, the necessary conditions for behavior change, the improvement of the physician-patient relationship, and the interaction between mind and body. In the last years, many articles in scientific medical journals have focused on such topics, however, it lacks a theoretical framework evolved trough behavioral research in social sciences. The goal of this paper is to encourage researchers and clinicians to give as much attention to these aspects in the face of serious illness as they do to the treatment of biological symptoms. The result will be a better adherence and quality of life by the patients.


Key words: counseling, patients’ education, HIV, psychological and social variables, physician-patient relationship, psychoneuroimmunology, adherence, quality of life.

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