heterosexual relationships and HIV |My homework helper

Posted: March 3rd, 2023

Talia is a 19-year-old heterosexual Caucasian female, who is a college sophomore majoring in psychology and minoring in English. She has a GPA of 3.89 and has been on the dean’s list several times over the last 2 years. She has written a couple of short articles for the university’s newspaper on current events around campus and is active in her sorority, Kappa Delta. She works part time (10–15 hours a week) at an accessory store.

Talia recently moved off campus to an apartment with two close friends from her sorority. She is physically active and runs approximately three miles a day. She also goes to the university’s gym a couple of days a week for strength training. Talia does not use drugs, although she has smoked marijuana a few times in her life. She drinks a few times a week, often going out with friends one day during the week and then again on Friday and Saturday nights. When she is out with friends, Talia usually has about four to six drinks. She prefers to drink beer over hard liquor or wine but will occasionally have a mixed drink.

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Talia has no criminal history. She reports a history of anxiety in her family (on her mother’s side), and on a few occasions has experienced heart palpitations, which her mother told her were due to nervousness. This happened only a handful of times in the past and usually when Talia was “very stressed out,” so Talia had never felt the need to go to the doctor or talk to someone about it until now. Talia is currently not dating anyone. She was in a relationship for a year and a half, but it ended a few months ago. She had since been “hooking up” with a guy in one of her English classes, but does not feel it will turn into anything serious and has not seen him in several weeks.

Talia’s parents, Erin (40) and Dave (43), and her siblings, Lila (16) and Nathan (14), live 2 hours away from the university. Erin works at a salon as a hairdresser, and Dave is retired military and works for a home security company. Erin is on a low-dose antidepressant for anxiety, something she has been treated for all of her life.

Talia came to see me at the Rape Counseling Center (RCC) on campus for services after she was sexually assaulted at a fraternity party 3 weeks prior. She told me she had thought she could handle her feelings after the assault, but she had since experienced a number of emotions and behaviors she could no longer ignore. She was not sleeping, she felt sad most days, she had stopped going out with friends, and she had been unable to concentrate on schoolwork. Talia stated that the most significant issues she had faced since the assault had been recurrent anxiety attacks.

Talia learned about the RCC when she went to the hospital after the sexual assault. At the hospital, she requested that a rape kit be completed and also asked for the morning-after pill and the HIV prevention protocol (Post Exposure Prophylaxis, or PEP). A nurse contacted me through the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) to provide Talia with support and resources. I spent several hours with Talia at the hospital while she went through the examination process. Talia shared bits and pieces of the evening with me, although she said most of the night was a blur. She said a good-looking guy named Eric was flirting with her all night and bringing her drinks. She did not want to seem ungrateful and enjoyed his company, so she drank. She also mentioned that the drinks were made with hard liquor, something that tends to make her drunk faster than beer. She said that at one point she blacked out and has no idea what happened. She woke up naked in a room alone the next morning, and she went straight to the hospital. Once Talia was done at the hospital, I gave her the contact information for RCC. I encouraged her to call if she had any questions or needed to talk with someone.

 

SOLUTION

It is important for Talia to receive support and care after experiencing sexual assault. It is common for survivors to experience a range of emotions and reactions after a traumatic event. Talia’s symptoms, such as anxiety attacks and difficulty sleeping, are common reactions to trauma. The Rape Counseling Center (RCC) is a good resource for Talia to access support and services. The RCC can provide confidential counseling, support groups, and referrals to other resources that may be helpful. It is important for Talia to know that she is not alone and that there are people who can help her navigate this difficult time. It is also important for Talia to continue to take care of herself physically and emotionally. This may include continuing with her exercise routine and seeking medical attention for her heart palpitations if they persist. She may also want to consider limiting her alcohol intake or avoiding it altogether, as it can exacerbate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Talia’s family history of anxiety is also something to keep in mind as she seeks support and treatment. It may be helpful for Talia to explore counseling or therapy to address any underlying anxiety or stress she may be experiencing.

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