Researchers from the University of Miami found that compassionate love and faith in a compassionate Higher Power increases healing and reduces disease progression among HIV patients. They studied 177 HIV patients over a 10-year period, tracking biological measures and health behaviors and collecting in-depth data interviews.
The scientists coded five criteria of compassionate love derived from the Working Model of Compassionate Love, developed by Lynn Underwood, Ph.D. The progression of HIV disease was reduced among patients that gave and received the most compassionate love. These patients exhibited both a greater level of the immune-boosting white blood cells known as CD4+ T helper cells and a reduced HIV viral load, the measure of HIV in the blood.