Objectives.We examined the associations between posttraumatic stress disorder(PTSD) and HIV risk behaviors among a random sample of 241 low-incomewomen receiving care in an urban emergency department.
Methods.We recruited participants from the emergency department waiting roomduring randomly selected 6-hour blocks of time. Multivariate analysesand propensity score weighting were used to examine the associationsbetween PTSD and HIV risk after adjustment for potentially confoundingsociodemographic variables, substance use, childhood sexual abuse, andintimate partner violence.
Results. A largemajority of the sample self-identified as Latina (49%) or AfricanAmerican (44%). Almost one third (29%) of the participants met PTSDcriteria. Women who exhibited symptoms in 1 or more PTSD symptomclusters were more likely than women who did not to report having hadsex with multiple sexual partners, having had sex with a risky partner,and having experienced partner violence related to condom use in thepreceding 6 months.
Conclusions. The high rateof PTSD found in this sample and the significant associations betweenPTSD symptom clusters and partner-related risk behaviors highlight theneed to take PTSD into account when designing HIV preventioninterventions for low-income, urban women (Authors).