JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Providing sensitive care for adult HIV-infected women with a history of childhood sexual abuse

Erika Aaron, Shannon Criniti, Alexa Bonacquisti, Pamela A Geller
Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care: JANAC 2013, 24 (4): 355-67
23790278
Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is a serious public health issue. Women with HIV who have a history of CSA are at increased risk for sporadic medical treatment, nonadherence to HIV medications, and HIV risk behaviors. These associations pose a challenge to providing health care for this population and are complicated by the possible psychological sequelae of CSA, such as anxiety, depression, dissociation, and posttraumatic stress disorder. This article reviews the effects of CSA on the health status of women with HIV, barriers to treatment adherence, suggested components of trauma-sensitive medical care, and mental health approaches. A trauma-informed, trauma-sensitive care model that addresses barriers associated with health care for women with a history of CSA is suggested. Specific recommendations are offered for the provision of effective clinical care for women with HIV who also have a history of CSA to help HIV care providers better recognize and appreciate the distinct needs of this patient population.

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