A social cognitive model of health for HIV-positive adults receiving care in India

Nalini Tarakeshwar, A. K. Srikrishnan, Sethulakshmi Johnson, C. Vasu, Suniti Solomon, Michael Merson, Kathleen Sikkema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In-depth interviews were conducted with 50 HIV-positive adults (23 women, 27 men) with access to care at a non-governmental organization in Chennai, India to gain a broad understanding of how they managed their HIV infection. Using a Social Cognitive Model of Health, we identified factors within the model's three domains-Personal, Environmental, and Behavioral-that are applicable to this socio-cultural context. The Personal domain's factors were a positive self-concept, family-focused goals, and treatment optimism; the Environmental domain comprised family-based support, treatment availability, access and quality, and HIV stigma and discrimination; and the Behavior domain's factors were medication adherence and health habits, sexual behavior, and social relationships and emotional well-being. Significant differences for many of the factors within the three domains were observed across married men and women, widowed women, unmarried men, and female sex workers. Implications for an enhanced intervention for HIV-infected individuals in similar treatment settings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-504
Number of pages14
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Family
  • HIV
  • India
  • Social cognitive theory
  • Stigma
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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