The effects of traumatic stressors and HIV-related trauma symptoms on health and health related quality of life

AIDS Behav. 2011 Nov;15(8):1870-8. doi: 10.1007/s10461-011-9980-4.


The study identified relations among traumatic stressors, HIV-related trauma symptoms, comorbid medical conditions, and health related quality of life (HRQL) in individuals with HIV. Participants (N = 118) completed a structured clinical interview on HIV as a traumatic stressor and other severe traumatic stressors and completed the Impact of Event Scale to assess HIV-related trauma symptoms and the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short Form (SF-36) to assess HRQL. Medical chart reviews determined comorbid conditions. Path analysis findings indicated participants with prior severe traumatic stressors experienced their HIV diagnosis as traumatic and in turn were more likely to have current HIV-related trauma symptoms which were negatively related to HRQL. HIV as a traumatic stressor was related to coronary artery diseases and HRQL. Traumatic stressors and HIV-related trauma symptoms impact health in individuals with HIV and highlight the need for psychological interventions prior to diagnosis and throughout treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Urban Population