Mental health and medication adherence as a function of early life physical and sexual trauma in HIV+ Latino men who have sex with men

Carolina Lara, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

The objective of the study is to understand sexual risk and medication adherence among Latino HIV+ men who have sex with men (MSM) and who have a history of childhood trauma (CT; which may include unwanted sexual experiences, physical threats, physical harm and /or verbal abuse prior to the age of 16). We sampled 150 Latino adult MSM living with HIV at a clinic in El Paso, Texas that offers comprehensive HIV/AIDS services to those living on the U.S.-Mexico Border. We assessed self-reported histories of childhood abuse and participants' control expectancies not only toward sexual impulsivity, but also more generally. ^ We observed high levels of unwanted childhood sexual experiences (22%). However, we did not find support for our hypothesis that higher levels of fatalism would mediate the relationship between CT and ART adherence. Also, although perceived control over sex drive was significantly negatively correlated with sexual risk, we did not find a significant relationship between unwanted childhood sexual experiences and sexual risk taking. It appears that control expectancies are important in the prediction of sexual risk among this sample of HIV+ Latino MSM. ^ Results from this sample differed substantially from those obtained with other samples. The absence of a link between childhood trauma and adult functioning, despite high levels of abuse in this sample, is an encouraging finding that may point up the importance of analyzing resilience scores in this population in future studies, to attempt to find protective factors for sexual risk taking among Latino MSM who have experienced CSA.^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Mental Health|Psychology, Social|GLBT Studies

Recommended Citation

Lara, Carolina, "Mental health and medication adherence as a function of early life physical and sexual trauma in HIV+ Latino men who have sex with men" (2013). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1545175.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI1545175

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