209279 Examining Sexual Violence Victimization and High Risk Sexual Behaviors among African American Female Adolescents Over Time

Monday, November 9, 2009

Delia Lang, PhD MPH , Rollins School of Public Health and Center for AIDS Research, Emory Univeristy, Atlanta, GA
Jessica Sales, PhD , Rollins School of Public Health Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Laura F. Salazar, PhD , Rollins School of Public Health and Center for AIDS Research, Emory Univeristy, Atlanta, GA
James W. Hardin, PhD , Department of Biostatistics, University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health, Columbia, SC
Ralph J. DiClemente, PhD , Rollins School of Public Health and Center for AIDS Research, Emory Univeristy, Atlanta, GA
Gina M. Wingood, MPH ScD , Rollins School of Public Health Department of Health Sciences and Behavioral Education, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Eve Rose, MSPH , Rollins School of Public Health Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Background: Retrospective adult studies indicate a robust association between history of sexual violence victimization (SVV) and engaging in risky sexual practices in adulthood. However, the extent to which this finding is present in female African-American adolescents, who have recently experienced SVV is not well known.

Methods: African-American female adolescents, 15-21 years, seeking sexual health services completed an ACASI interview at baseline (N =367), 6- and 12-month follow-up. Sociodemographics, history of SVV, and risky sexual practices were assessed. Participants indicating that they had experienced forced sex at baseline were classified as having a history of SVV.

Results: Ninety-two participants (25%) reported a history of SVV at baseline. At both 6- and 12-month follow-up, those with a history of SVV had significantly lower proportions of condom-protected sex in the past 60 days (p <.01), more sex partners in the past 60 days (p <. 05), less consistent condom use (p < .01), and engaged in more episodes of unprotected vaginal sex (p <.05) than those with no SVV. At the 12-month follow-up, the SVV group had significantly more episodes of sex while they and their partner were high or drunk (p<.05).

Conclusions: Adolescent girls who experience SVV are engaging in more risky sexual behaviors as they age than their non-SVV peers, thereby placing themselves at higher risk for contracting sexually transmitted infection, including HIV. Thus, it is critically important to identify and intervene with girls who have experienced SVV in an attempt to avoid a trajectory of sexual risk-taking.

Learning Objectives:
Learning Objectives: Identify sexual violence as a predictor of risky sexual practices among African-American female adolescents. Recognize the importance of identifying sexual violence and addressing how sexual violence impacts physical and mental health in HIV behavioral prevention programs. Discuss the clinical implications of the relationship between sexual violence and risky sexual practices among African-American female adolescents

Keywords: Adolescents, Sexual Assault

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: PhD in Clinical Psychology and MPH in Biostats. Also, extensive research pertaining to adolescent sexual health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: African-American Women and HIV
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