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‘Flourishing’ with HIV
In our first paper this month, Lyons et al1 in Australia take a closer look at positive mental health in HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM), for example, sense of meaning, optimism and regular experiences of positive affect. They aimed to identify potential factors that could be used to optimise well-being and support programmes for HIV-positive MSM. Using a ‘flourishing scale’ they assessed eight items looking at social-psychological functioning. Four hundred and two people living with HIV completed the questionnaire, 387 participants self-identifying as MSM. Flourishing has two components, hedonic (frequently experienced positive emotions, such as happiness and optimism) and eudaemonic (a sense of self-acceptance, meaning or purpose, a life lived in accordance with personal values). Scores for those sampled were very similar to a New Zealand population-based study, but there is no such Australian study for comparison. Greater perceived sense of belonging (p<0.001) and tangible support (p=0.05) were identified as significantly associated with higher flourishing …
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