Erin Fekete, assistant professor of psychology and director of behavioral sciences, published research in Psychology and Health about sleep issues in people living with HIV (PLWH).
Sleep disturbances and sleep issues in people living with HIV are very common (PLWH), and can contribute to faster disease progression. However, relatively little is known about the psychosocial factors that may be associated with sleep issues in PLWH. We found that PLWH who reported higher levels of internalized stigma (i.e., acceptance of negative societal attitudes about people with HIV) also reported higher levels of loneliness/social isolation, which in turn were associated with more depressive symptoms. Depressive symptoms were then associated with poorer sleep quality. This relationship was significant even after controlling for a variety of sociodemographic factors, including disease status and years since HIV diagnosis. These results suggest that interventions designed to promote resilience against stigma may also help to improve sleep in PLWH.