Screening for Military Sexual Trauma Is Associated With Improved HIV Screening in Women Veterans.

Focus Areas: Ending Gender Violence Health & Wellness

OBJECTIVE: To examine factors associated with HIV screening among women veterans receiving health care in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Cross-sectional study of women veterans receiving Veterans Affairs care between 2001 and 2014 derived from the Women Veteran’s Cohort Study. Descriptive and bivariate statistics were calculated comparing patients with and without an HIV screen. Generalized estimating equations were conducted to estimate the odds of HIV screening among women screened for military sexual trauma (MST) and the subset with a positive MST screen. Multivariable analyses were adjusted for demographic characteristics, mental health diagnoses, pregnancy, HIV risk factors, and facility level clustering.

Among the 113,796 women veterans in the sample, 84.3% were screened for MST and 13.2% were screened for HIV. Women screened for MST were over twice as likely to be tested for HIV (odds ratio, 2.8; 95% confidence interval, 2.2-3.5). A history of MST was inversely associated with HIV screening (odds ratio, 0.9; 95% confidence interval, 0.8-0.9).

Women veterans screened for sexual trauma received more comprehensive preventive health care in the form of increased HIV screening.

Reddy, S. M., Portnoy, G. A., Bathulapalli, H., Womack, J., Haskell, S. G., Mattocks, K., ... Goulet, J. L. (2019). Screening for military sexual trauma is associated with improved HIV screening in women veterans. Medical Care, 57(7), 536-543. https://doi.org/10.1097/MLR.0000000000001130