In our previous column, we discussed the results of several studies from Touch Research Institute (TRI) in Miami, Fla., showing positive effects of massage therapy on immune function, anxiety, and depression in subjects diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Similar results have also been documented by TRI researchers for breast cancer patients, expanding the potential application of this modality to support and enhance healing in life-threatening illnesses.
Over the past two decades, reports on the worldwide HIV/AIDS epidemic have been splashed across our newspapers and delivered to us by newscasters in daily doses. Although the initial shock has worn off for many Americans, the epidemic is thriving with devastating impact in poor, developing countries. Take a moment to consider the following information released by the United Nations (U.N.) in its 2004 global report.
“If I am working with a gay man, I always inform him that I have AIDS so that he can feel comfortable about disclosing his status if he wants to. I think it models comfort with disclosure which I feel is important for gay men.”