265301 Trauma, substance abuse, and HIV risk among out-of-treatment substance-using minority women

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 3:10 PM - 3:30 PM

Archana Bodas LaPollo, MPH , Research & Evaluation Group, Public Health Management Corporation, Philadelphia, PA
Eugenia Argires, MSS, MFA , Behavioral Health, Public Health Management Corporation, Philadelphia, PA
Lisa Bond, PhD , Research & Evaluation, Public Health Management Corporation, Philadelphia, PA
Background: Trauma, substance abuse, and HIV among women are inextricably linked. Though most research focuses on sexual and/or physical abuse, we expand our understanding of trauma over the lifespan to include other traumatic stressors, such as household fire and early death of loved ones to examine trauma's relationship to women's substance abuse and HIV risk. Methods: Intake data from 334 women (84% Black; mean age= 43 years) enrolled in a program designed to increase readiness for substance abuse treatment/recovery were analyzed. The Life Stressor Checklist-Revised was used to assess trauma history. Results: Most women were crack users (88%), 35% had unprotected sex in the past 30 days, and 9% reported being HIV-positive. On average, women reported 7 out of a possible 23 lifetime traumatic events (range=0-20). 80% reported lifetime interpersonal abuse (IA), 46% reported childhood sexual or physical abuse (CSPA), and 96% reported other lifetime traumatic stressors. ANOVA (p<.05) showed significantly higher numbers of lifetime traumatic events for women who were HIV-positive, women who had recent unprotected sex, and women with histories of incarceration. Lifetime exposure to IA, CSPA, and other traumatic stressors were significantly associated with more severe drug use problems. IA and CSPA were also significantly associated with more severe alcohol use problems. Current exposure to other traumatic stressors was associated with a significantly higher number of sexual partners in the past 30 days. Conclusion: Considering the central role of trauma in women's lives and viewing trauma comprehensively may increase the effectiveness of recovery and HIV prevention programs.

Learning Areas:
Program planning
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Participants in this session will be able to: 1. Describe the role of lifetime exposure to traumatic events in increasing women’s risk for continued substance abuse and engagement in behaviors that increase risk for HIV. 2. Identify strategies for integrating trauma-informed services into substance abuse treatment and HIV prevention programs.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Through my work as a Senior Research Associate and Evaluator for several research and program evaluation studies I have extensive experience conducting qualitative and quantitative research and evaluation activities with underserved, vulnerable populations at high risk for acquisition or transmission of HIV, including Black, Latino, and South Asian women, and racial and ethnic minority MSM/MSMW, and adolescents. I am currently evaluating a pretreatment program for substance-using out-of-treatment minority women.
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.