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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Sharing an Uncertain Future: Improved Survival and Stress Proliferation among Persons Living with HIV and their Caregivers


This chapter examines how the historically time-altered trajectory of HIV/AIDS in the United States has influenced the lives of persons living with HIV (PLH) and their midlife and older female caregivers. Our theoretical model integrates the concepts of linked lives, stress proliferation, and future uncertainty. We report on a study of 135 PLH and their caregiving wives or mothers. We find that, net of other stress covariates, future uncertainty is positively associated with depressive symptoms among PLH but not among caregivers. We identify “cross-person” effects in that the caregiver’s perceptions of future uncertainty are positively associated with PLH depressive symptoms.

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