Cognitive behavioral stress management effects on mood, social support, and a marker of antiviral immunity are maintained up to 1 year in HIV-infected gay men.Int J Behav Med 2005; 12(4):218-26IJ
Numerous herpesvirus infections are associated with clinically relevant outcomes as well as an accelerated HIV replication rate and subsequent disease progression. Stress management interventions may improve markers of cellular immune control over latent herpesvirus infections and these changes appear to be mediated by perceptions of increased social support availability. We examined the effects of a group-based cognitive behavioral stress management (CBSM) intervention on distress, dysphoria, perceived social support, and herpesvirus immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody titers during the 6 to 12 months following the intervention. Of those who were initially randomized, 49 HIV-infected men were followed during the 6- to 12-month period after randomization to either a 10-week CBSM intervention (n = 31) or a modified wait-list control condition (n = 18). Measures of distress, dysphoria, social support, and blood samples for herpesvirus IgG titers were taken at baseline, immediately following CBSM and at 6- to 12-month follow-up. Men in CBSM displayed maintenance of previously observed intervention effects on dysphoria, reliable alliance support, and herpesvirus IgG antibody titers (i.e., Epstein-Barr virus capsid antigen; EBV-VCA). Intervention-related changes in EBV-VCA were unrelated to changes in lymphocyte subsets (i.e., CD4+, CD8+, and CD4+:CD8+) or changes in measures of dysphoria and social support during the investigation period. Data indicate that HIV-infected men participating in a CBSM intervention maintain better psychosocial status and immunologic control of latent EBV infection up to 1 year after its conclusion.