HIV-Infected Men Who Have Sex With Men and Histories of Childhood Sexual Abuse: Implications for Health and Prevention

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Abstract

A personal history of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is prevalent and deleterious to health for people living with HIV (PLWH), and current statistics likely underrepresent the frequency of these experiences. In the general population, the prevalence of CSA appears to be higher in men who have sex with men (MSM) than heterosexual men, but there are limited data available for HIV-infected MSM. CSA is associated with poor mental and physical health and may contribute to high rates of HIV risk behaviors, including unprotected sex and substance abuse. CSA exposure is also associated with low engagement in care for PLWH. More information is needed regarding CSA experiences of HIV-infected MSM to optimize health and wellbeing for this population and to prevent HIV transmission. This article reviews the epidemiology, implications, and interventions for MSM who have a history of CSA.

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