The impact of trauma-focused group therapy upon HIV sexual risk behaviors in the NIDA Clinical Trials Network "Women and trauma" multi-site study.
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.