Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Medical Advocates MSM Homepage

Hi All:

This link gives access to many articles we may find relevant to our research or helpful for our grant proposal.




Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Behavioral economics and health behavior

Today's thought topic –

Behavioral Economics is flourishing as a discipline, addressing the same problems we face in health behavior of HIV prevention: short-term versus long-term thinking. In Econ jargon it is "present self" versus "future self", the latter being more abstract and difficult to focus on.

Following is a piece in today's NYT – the other is a piece by Sunstein (who we cited in the internet paper) about "nudges" toward pro-social behavior.




Blacks and HIV Rates

Hi All:

I found this ref today. We might use some stats from it in our grant proposal. Also, after following some links from this article, I found this:

Chapter 5: Research Related to Specific Populations (PDF, 46 pages) PDF document

This is a list of NIH objectives regarding HIV research for the 2009. In the Racial and Ethnic Populations section, there is a more specific list of goals relating to HIV research on these groups. Many of the goals we discussed with this grant are those that the NIH has proclaimed as important in HIV-research.

HIV Disproportionately Affecting Blacks in U.S., Fauci Says

Excerpts below- full text at


HIV/AIDS is disproportionately affecting blacks in the U.S., with almost half of all new infections occurring in the population, Anthony Fauci, director of NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said recently, Reuters reports. According to Fauci's statement, which was released to mark National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on Saturday, blacks comprise 12% of the U.S. population but account for almost 50% of all people living with HIV in the country. Fauci pointed to the majority black city of Washington, D.C., where one in 20 residents is living with HIV -- about the same proportion of people in sub-Saharan Africa. Fauci's statement is available online at http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/about/directors/news/BAAID_09.htm

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

HIV adherence overview

Fairly recent overview of predictors of HIV medication adherence:

Ammassari, A., Trotta, M. P., Murri, R., Castelli, F., Narciso, P., Noto, P., et al. (2002). Correlates and predictors of adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy: Overview of published literature. JAIDS-Journal Of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 31(Suppl. 3), S123-S127.

Covers mostly demographic variables, but exhaustive.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Lab topics for this week:

Lab topics for this week:

1. The CDC grant
2. Two interesting articles from Health Psych. today. Both deal with affect and health behavior.

Lawton R, Conner M, McEachan R. Desire or Reason: Predicting Health Behaviors From Affective and Cognitive Attitudes. Health Psychology. Jan 2009;28(1):56-65. Link

...affective attitude was a significantly more powerful predictor of behavior than cognitive attitude for 9 behaviors. Also, affective attitude had a direct effect on behavior that was not fully mediated by intention for 9 behaviors... ...The findings underscore the importance of affect in the performance of health-related behaviors and suggest that interventions could usefully target the affective consequences of engaging in these behaviors.

Safren SA, O'Cleirigh C, Tan JY, et al. A Randomized Controlled Trial of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adherence and Depression (CBT-AD) in HIV-Infected Individuals. Health Psychology. Jan 2009;28(1):1-10.

...those who received CBT-AD evidenced significantly greater improvements in medication adherence and depression relative to the comparison group. Those who were originally assigned to the comparison group who chose to cross over to CBT-AD showed similar improvements in both depression and adherence outcomes. Treatment gains for those in the intervention group were generally maintained at 6-and 12-month follow-up assessments. By the end of the follow-up period, those originally assigned CBT-AD demonstrated improvements in plasma HIV RNA concentrations ...

This is really an important finding, using a very sophisticated design - the roll-over condition helps both with statistical power and study ethics.