The Impact of Trauma-Focused Group Therapy upon HIV Sexual Risk Behaviors in the NIDA Clinical Trials Network “Women and Trauma” Multi-Site Study
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Women in drug treatment struggle with co-occurring problems, including trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can heighten HIV risk. This study examines the impact of two group therapy interventions on reduction of unprotected sexual occasions (USO) among women with substance use disorders (SUD) and PTSD. Participants were 346 women recruited from and receiving treatment at six community-based drug treatment programs participating in NIDA’s Clinical Trials Network. Participants were randomized to receive 12-sessions of either seeking safety (SS), a cognitive behavioral intervention for women with PTSD and SUD, or women’s health education (WHE), an attention control psychoeducational group. Participants receiving SS who were at higher sexual risk (i.e., at least 12 USO per month) significantly reduced the number of USO over 12-month follow up compared to WHE. High risk women with co-occurring PTSD and addiction may benefit from treatment addressing coping skills and trauma to reduce HIV risk.
KeywordsHIV/AIDS Substance abuse PTSD Trauma Sexual risk
The authors wish to acknowledge the work and support of the six Regional Research Training Centers involved in the study and the invaluable commitment of the clients and staff at the seven participating Community-based Treatment Programs. This study was supported by the following grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): U10 DA13035 (Edward Nunes, PI), U10 DA13714 (Dennis Donovan, PI), U10 DA13038 (Kathleen Carroll, PI), U10 DA13732 (Eugene Somoza, PI), U10 DA13727 (Kathleen Brady, PI), U10 DA013720 (Jose Szapocznik, PI), U10 DA013046 (John Rotrosen, PI), K24 DA022412 (Edward Nunes, PI). Staff from NIDA’s Clinical Trials Network collaborated in the design and conduct of the study, assisted with data management and quality assurance during the trial, and provided comments for consideration on this manuscript. The Clinical Trial Identification Number is NCT00078156 (NIDA).
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