"CLaRO Pilot - Psychoneuroimmune outcomes of expressive writing in traumatized Latina's living with HIV"

Individuals with PTSD often recall traumatic experiences with distress (e.g., flashbacks, nightmares); however, reactivation of these traumatic memories is also an opportunity, i.e., a method for intervention. This study seeks to determine the impact of conducting augmented written emotional disclosure (WED) intervention, culturally adapted in the same language as when the trauma was encoded, on the psycho-neuro-immunological response to trauma recall in 36 bilingual Hispanic/Latina women living with HIV. We hypothesize that writing about traumatic experiences in one's primary language concordant with the trauma, i.e., Spanish-WED, will show positive changes in neuropsychological, neuroendocrine, and inflammatory-immune burden. This study will answer the question of whether culturally adapting a trauma intervention previously shown to be effective in HIV+ women enhances positive changes in functional brain activity (primarily in the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus), stress hormone regulation (primarily glucocorticoids) and inflammatory-immune control in traumatized Hispanic/Latina women with the broader goal of enhancing treatment response and long-term disease outcomes.