Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Women Health. 2002;36(3):51-64.

Double trouble: violent and non-violent traumas among women at sexual risk of HIV infection.

Author information

Laboratory of Infectious Disease Prevention, New York Blood Center, New York, USA.



This study examines the association between trauma and HIV risk behaviors among women at sexual risk for HIV infection.


From April to August 1998, high-risk HIV negative women were recruited in the South Bronx into a year-long cohort study. At the 12-month visit, 116 women were interviewed face-to-face about recent and lifetime violent and non-violent traumas.


The women reported a substantial prevalence of sexual risk behaviors associated with the acquisition of HIV. At baseline, almost two-thirds (64%) reported unprotected vaginal sex in the previous six months, and in the previous year, 62% had smoked crack, 52% reported sex-for-money-or-drugs exchanges, and 47% had five or more male sex partners. The lifetime prevalence of trauma was high: 81% had experienced one or more violent traumas and 97% had experienced one or more non-violent traumas. Women who had experienced violent trauma--physical assault by a partner (OR = 2.88; 95% CI 1.12; 7.41)--and those who had experienced non-violent trauma--loss of a child to foster care (OR = 3.34; 95% CI 1.04; 10.65)--were more likely to use crack than others. Those who had experienced non-violent trauma, by witnessing a physical assault (OR = 2.31; 95% CI 0.99; 5.40), were also more likely than others to have exchanged sex.


Both violent and non-violent traumas appear to play a role in the behaviors that place women at risk of HIV infection, particularly using crack and exchanging sex.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center