The clinical significance of change in trauma-related symptoms following a pilot group intervention for coping with HIV-AIDS and childhood sexual trauma

AIDS Behav. 2004 Sep;8(3):277-91. doi: 10.1023/B:AIBE.0000044075.12845.75.


The association between sexual abuse and HIV risk is well documented, yet little empirical data exists on treatment approaches integrating the psychological impact of sexual abuse and HIV disease. This study examined the clinical significance of change on sexual-trauma-related stress following a coping group intervention study among 28 women and men with HIV-AIDS and a history of childhood sexual abuse. More than 75% of participants showed improvement on 1 or more subscales of the Trauma Symptom Inventory, with the majority of improvements within domains related to trauma symptoms and behavioral difficulties. Most observed gains were modest, but are considered meaningful in the context of stressors encountered by this disenfranchised sample, which was diverse with respect to race, sexual orientation, and psychiatric comorbidity. These preliminary findings support the need for the conduct of research trials to identify mental health and secondary prevention intervention models that can assist those with HIV-AIDS who have experienced childhood sexual abuse.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / psychology*
  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / psychology
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / therapy*
  • Comorbidity
  • Connecticut
  • Crime Victims / psychology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New York City
  • Personality Inventory
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychotherapy, Group*
  • Rape / psychology*
  • Spouse Abuse / psychology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urban Population*
  • Violence / psychology*