Jemmott Study: Preventing Chronic Diseases in People Living with HIV/AIDS

A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that interventions to promote healthy behaviors, including eating more fruits and vegetables, increasing physical activity, and participating in cancer screenings appear beneficial for African-American couples who are at high risk for chronic diseases, especially if one of the individuals is living with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). Since medications being used to treat HIV, particularly highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), have been successful, they are now living longer and are at risk for developing other chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. “This study is important, demonstrating that a theory-based contextually appropriate intervention which teaches skills caused positive changes on multiple behaviors linked to chronic diseases in African American members of HIV-serodiscordant couples,” said study co-author John B. Jemmott, III, Ph.D., Professor of Communication in Psychiatry and Communication at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine and Annenberg School for Communication, who led the Philadelphia trial site for the trial. For more information, please see the JAMA/Archives press release and the Archives of Internal Medicine paper.