Stress and the progression of HIV disease
The reciprocal interactions between the neuroendocrine, immune, and autonomic nervous system are complicated, yet worthy of examination. A body of literature suggests that psychological factors such as stress, or psychiatric conditions such as major depression, may influence the immune system thereby altering host susceptibility to viral, or other types of infection. The present article examines the role of stress in the progression of HIV disease. We refer to the immune system, to stress, HIV, psychosocial factors well as the impact of psychiatric conditions like depression. In particular, we discuss about the biological mediators of psychological status which can play an important role in mediating HIV disease progression. We evaluate the most recent literature within the context of this burgeoning field, taking into account some methodological problems that often arise. Some considerations for future research are also presented at the end. ©Pharmakon-Press.