Sexual Victimization and HIV Risk Behaviors Among Women in Criminal Justice Settings

Sandra C. Langley, N. D. R. I., Inc.
Susan M. Crimmins, California State University/N.D.R.I.
Steven Belenko, University of Pennsylvania

During the past decade, a growing body of research has investigated the link between sexual victimization and subsequent participation in HIV-risk behaviors. The rate of AIDS cases among U.S. inmates is four time greater than in the general population, with female inmates 50% more likely than males to be HIV-infected (U.S. Department of Justice, 2002). Despite these figures, few studies have examined the intersection of victimization and HIV-risk in among women in criminal justice settings. In the present study, we report findings from interviews with 90 women in prison, on probation, or on parole. Sexual victimization experiences, HIV status, and HIV risk behaviors including sharing drug injection equipment, and engaging in transactional sex and other high-risk sexual behaviors are presented. Findings will be compared to studies involving non-criminal justice samples and implications for prevention and intervention will be discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006