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Women Health. 2002;36(3):51-64.

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

Author information

1
Laboratory of Infectious Disease Prevention, New York Blood Center, New York, USA. pbrownpeterside@nybc.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

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

METHODS:

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.

RESULTS:

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.

CONCLUSIONS:

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.

PMID:
12539792
DOI:
10.1300/J013v36n03_04
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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