USA: New Study Finds Battered Women at Higher Risk for HIV
Wednesday, June 24, 2009 3:19 PM

A recent study published in the May/June issue of General Hospital Psychiatry found that battered women are more than three times as likely to contract HIV as women who do not experience intimate partner violence. Jitender Sareen, Jina Pagura, and Bridget Grant conducted the study using data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. The researchers analyzed information from 13,928 women all 20 years or older, who reported being in a romantic relationship in the last year. The study was limited in that it did not look at lifetime histories of abuse, and researchers believe that the link between initmate partner violence and HIV may be stronger than indicated.

The study found that 5.5% of women reported abuse by their partners in 2004 and 2005. The rate of HIV infection for women was 0.17% and was three times higher in women who were abused by their partner. Nearly 12% of women who contracted HIV said it was due to intimate partner violence. Jitender Sareen, an Associate Professor at the University of Manitoba said "These numbers are solely due to forced sex on women from their infected partners. It is a substantial percentage." The authors advise that women in medical settings who have HIV or AIDS should be assessed for violence.

Compiled from: Battered Women at Higher Risk for HIV Infection, Family Violence Prevention Fund (19 June 2009).