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An Omitted Level: An Examination of Relational Orientations and Viral Suppression Among HIV Serodiscordant Male Couples

Gamarel, Kristi E. EdM*,†; Neilands, Torsten B. PhD; Golub, Sarit A. PhD*,†; Johnson, Mallory O. PhD

JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes: June 1st, 2014 - Volume 66 - Issue 2 - p 193–196
doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000000148
Brief Report: Clinical Science

Abstract: Couples' adopting a relational orientation, when partners regard themselves as a collective unit, is associated with optimal health. HIV-positive men and their HIV-negative partners (N = 116 serodiscordant male couples) were surveyed. Logistic regression showed greater relational orientations of HIV-positive [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 7.87; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.63 to 38.05] and HIV-negative partners (aOR = 6.16; 95% CI: 1.43 to 26.59) and HIV-positive partners' higher income (aOR = 2.95; 95% CI: 1.13 to 7.70) and lower depression (aOR = 0.39; 95% CI: 0.15 to 0.97) were associated with viral suppression with no evidence of mediation by adherence. Incorporating relationship dynamics into biomedical strategies is a promising avenue for research and intervention.

*Department of Psychology, The Graduate Center of CUNY, New York, NY;

Department of Psychology, Hunter College of CUNY, New York, NY; and

Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.

Correspondence to: Kristi E. Gamarel, EdM, Department of Psychology, Hunter College of the City University of New York, 695 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10065 (e-mail:

Supported by Grants R01NR010187 and K24MH087220 from the National Institutes of Health.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Received September 13, 2013

Accepted January 28, 2014

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins