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J Interpers Violence. 2015 May;30(9):1459-77. doi: 10.1177/0886260514540802. Epub 2014 Jul 2.

Traumatic revictimization of men who have sex with men living with HIV/AIDS.

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University of Massachusetts, Boston, USA The Fenway Institute, Fenway Health, Boston, MA, USA
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA.
Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
University of Washington, Seattle, USA.


Abuse in childhood has been established as a predictor of adult abuse, with the strongest associations found between childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and adult sexual victimization. Revictimization has been demonstrated among women, and there is a growing literature on revictimization experiences among men who have sex with men (MSM). No studies have assessed revictimization among MSM living with HIV, despite strong evidence for disproportionately high rates of life span abuse among this group, along with the added vulnerability of living with HIV and sexual minority stress. In this study, we contribute to the literature by exploring associations between multiple types of childhood and adult abuse experiences (physical, sexual, and psychological; perpetrated by partners and non-partner), rather than examining sexual victimization alone. A sample of 166 HIV-positive MSM attending primary HIV health care clinics in Seattle, Washington, completed a one-time questionnaire. Results of regression analyses revealed associations between experiencing CSA and adult sexual abuse, and experiencing childhood physical abuse and adult physical and sexual abuse. Childhood psychological abuse was associated with adult physical and psychological abuse and partner psychological abuse. At higher frequencies, childhood psychological abuse was associated with all forms of adult abuse. These findings suggest that various forms of childhood abuse experiences confer broad vulnerability to adult abuse experiences and point to potentially different pathways to revictimization based on childhood abuse type.


HIV/AIDS; adult abuse; childhood abuse; men who have sex with men; revictimization

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