Physiological Changes from Violence-Induced Stress and Trauma Enhance HIV Susceptibility Among Women

Kiyomi Tsuyuki, Andrea Cimino, Charvonne N Holliday, Jacquelyn C Campbell, Noor A. Al-Alusi, Jamila K. Stockman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Purpose of Review: This theoretical review identifies physiological mechanisms by which violence against women (VAW) may increase women’s susceptibility to HIV through trauma, stress, and immune dysfunction. Recent Findings: Research documents systemic and local immune responses are related to stress and trauma from abuse across the life course (i.e., childhood, IPV, adulthood re-victimization). Findings are interpreted within a theoretical framework grounded in the Social Stress Theory and the concept of toxic stress, and highlight the current state of the science connecting: (1) VAW to the physiological stress response and immune dysfunction, and (2) the physiological stress response and inflammation to HIV susceptibility and infection in the female reproductive tract. Summary: Despite a dearth of research in human subjects, evidence suggests that VAW plays a significant role in creating a physiological environment conducive to HIV infection. We conclude with a discussion of promising future steps for this line of research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCurrent HIV/AIDS Reports
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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Keywords

  • HIV
  • Immune dysfunction
  • Physiological stress response
  • Trauma
  • Violence against women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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