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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Arizona Examines the Association between Intimate Partner Violence and Risk of HIV Infection among Women

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is an important global health issue. The 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study ranks IPV as fifth in years of life lost as a result of disability for women. Globally, it is estimated that one in four women experiences violence from an intimate partner in her lifetime, making IPV the commonest form of violence against women.  IPV may be physical, sexual, psychological, or a combination of these. IPV and HIV are hypothesized to have critical intersections, and women’s vulnerability to HIV may be influenced by violence caused by culturally accepted gender inequalities. In a recent publication in the Journal of the International AIDS Society, investigators at the University of Arizona’s Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (MEZCOPH) investigated evidence of an association between IPV and HIV infection among women through systematic review and meta-analyses. The review focused on women aged ≥15 years who were in any form of sexually intimate relationship with a male partner. Through a comprehensive search of available research databases and the grey literature, the researchers identified 28 studies (19 cross-sectional, five cohort, and four case-control) involving 331,468 individuals in 16 countries. Analysis of available data demonstrated a moderate statistically significant association between IPV and HIV infection among women. Given that IPV is an important factor in women’s non-disclosure of HIV positive status as well as a factor in their non-adherence to treatment, the authors concluded that emphasis should be placed on efforts to address gender-based violence in the context of HIV prevention and treatment.

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