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Intersecting Domestic Violence and HIV in Women


Researchers have found that there is a close relation to individuals who experience intimate partner violence (IPV) and HIV. When disclosing that they have HIV, this can lead to more violence in an intimate relationship for 24% of women.


It is important to remember that violence does not only mean physical abuse. Intimate partner violence can include verbal, emotional, sexual, economic and physical abuse. These forms of abuse are used with intentions to harm, control or monitor, restrain and isolate another person.


According to the journal "The Intersection of Intimate Partner Violence and HIV: Detection, Disclosure, Discussion, and Implications for Treatment Adherence" by Dr. Tami Sullivan, women with HIV are predominantly experiencing IPV when in comparison to men. 55% of women with HIV have experienced some sort of violence from an intimate partner while 20% of men with HIV have.


The numbers worsen when race is taken into account for those who are disproportionately affected. According to the CDC, in 2010, new infections occurred from 64% African American women.


With the intersection of domestic violence and HIV in women, this can interfere with the care for HIV. For example, some partners may hold back medications and the ability to go to appointments. Other ways can be the effects of the IPV on an individuals mental health, and wanting to hide physical signs of abuse from doctors.


With many studies connecting HIV to IPV for women, we can see that women are disproportionately affected by this virus as well as by IPV. The numbers grow larger when focusing on race and ethnicity further proving that marginalized genders and races are affected greatly.

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