Positive and Negative Self-Conscious Emotion and Transmission Risk Following HIV Diagnosis

Abigail W. Batchelder*, Adam W. Carrico, Michael Acree, Frederick M. Hecht, Judith Tedlie Moskowitz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


While negative emotions are associated with risk behaviors and risk avoidance among people with HIV, emerging evidence indicates that negative self-conscious emotions, those evoked by self-reflection or self-evaluation (e.g., shame, guilt, and embarrassment), may differentially influence health-risk behaviors by producing avoidance or, conversely, pro-social behaviors. Positive emotions are associated with beneficial health behaviors, and may account for inconsistent findings related to negative self-conscious emotions. Using multinomial logistic regression, we tested whether positive emotion moderated the relationships between negative emotion and negative self-conscious emotions and level of condomless sex risk: (1) seroconcordant; (2) serodiscordant with undetectable viral load; and (3) serodiscordant with detectable viral load [potentially amplified transmission (PAT)] among people recently diagnosed with HIV (n = 276). While positive emotion did not moderate the relationship between negative emotion and condomless sex, it did moderate the relationship between negative self-conscious emotion and PAT (AOR = 0.60; 95% CI 0.41, 0.87); high negative self-conscious and high positive emotion were associated with lower PAT risk. Acknowledgment of both positive and negative self-conscious emotion may reduce transmission risk behavior among people with HIV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1496-1502
Number of pages7
JournalAIDS and behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2018


  • HIV
  • High-risk sex
  • Negative self-conscious emotion
  • Positive emotion
  • Shame

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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