Prevalence of Child and Adult Sexual Abuse and Risk Taking Practices Among HIV Serodiscordant African-American Couples

Wu, Elwin; Witte, Susan S.; El-Bassel, Nabila; Gilbert, Louisa; NIMH Multisite HIV/STD Prevention Trial for African American Couples Group

This study reports the prevalence of child (CSA) and adult (ASA) sexual abuse among 535 African American HIV serodiscordant couples from four major United State cities, and its relationship to personal and couple related vulnerabilities and HIV risk factors. As part of a randomized, clinical trial, CSA and ASA histories were obtained through face-to-face interviews. Results indicate that HIV positive women were significantly more likely to report one kind of abuse (32.32%), either before or since age 18 or both (32.6%). HIV-positive men (34.9%) were significantly more likely to report CSA than HIV-negative men (22.0%). Overall, 72% of couples reported that one or both had CSA histories. These findings underscore the heightened emotional vulnerability, and STI and HIV transmission risk taking practices, associated with sexual abuse. Sexual abuse histories among couples should be assessed to better understand how these histories may contribute to couples dynamics and risk-taking practices.



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AIDS and Behavior

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July 31, 2012