Exploring the traumatic experiences of women living with HIV using the Life History Calendar

[Speaker] Dass-brailsford, Priscilla:1
1:Georgetown University (United States of America)

Women living with HIV (WLWH) often experience traumatic events during their lifetime. Trauma exposure can result in negative health outcomes, making it important to find innovative ways to accurately identify and explore the trajectory of these traumatic events. This study sought to advance our understanding of the traumatic experiences of WLWH using the Life History Calendar (LHC). Individual interviews, using the LHC, were conducted with 30 women from the District of Columbia to explore their trajectories of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) as well as other traumas (physical and emotional), as they related to health behaviors. The majority of participants (73%) reported CSA and more than one type of trauma. Our findings demonstrate that CSA is associated with depression, anxiety, PTSD, substance abuse and criminal involvement among WLWH. Moreover, a history of CSA usually predicted future traumatic experiences. These findings demonstrate a need to identify and treat CSA early.
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