Alexithymia among people living with HIV: A scoping review


The present scoping review aimed to identify studies that investigated alexithymia, defined as a difficulty in identifying and describing one’s own emotions, in people living with HIV (PLWH).A literature search, in line with the guidelines of PRISMA-ScR, was conducted in the following bibliographic databases: PubMed, PsycINFO, and Web of Science. The databases were queried using the following strings (using Boolean operators): (“alexithymia” OR “alexithymic”) AND (“HIV” OR “Human Immunodeficiency Virus”). In line with the eligibility criteria, fourteen articles were found.Ten studies showed the involvement of alexithymia in disease severity (e.g., viral load levels), and adherence to antiretroviral therapy. Three studies revealed an association between alexithymia and cardiovascular disease, and three studies highlighted the implication of alexithymia in cognitive impairment.This review revealed the complex role of alexithymia in HIV disease. A careful clinical assessment of the emotional regulation process of PLWH can provide useful prognostic information.


Benfante A, Romeo A




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Mental Health
    • Other


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