HIV Risk in Female Victims of Domestic Violence Can be Drastically Cut Down with Intervention. 25/7/2016

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According to a recent study, an intervention for women experiencing intimate partner violence can help reduce HIV
transmission. The team led by the University of Maryland's Mona Mittal
conducted an integrated HIV risk reduction intervention for a racially
diverse group of economically-disadvantaged women with histories of
intimate partner violence (IPV).

This intervention resulted in a
decrease in unprotected sex and an increase in safer sex communication
among its participants. It is one of the few interventions to address
the association between gender-based violence and risk of HIV
acquisition among women. 'Although research has established a strong
link between 'intimate partner violence,' or IPV, and subsequent HIV
infection, there are few empirically-supported interventions that
address the unique needs of women who experience IPV and who are at
increased risk for contracting HIV,' wrote Mittal.

'Although
research has established a strong link between 'intimate partner
violence,' or IPV, and subsequent HIV infection, there are few
empirically-supported interventions that address the unique needs of
women who experience IPV and who are at increased risk for contracting
HIV,' wrote Mittal. (Read: Battery Health, a mobile app to help HIV-infected men complete their treatment course)

Abused
women may be coerced to have unprotected sex or experience fear of
violent consequences when negotiating condom use, Mittal explained. They
may also be involved in high-risk sexual behaviour, having sex with
multiple partners or high-risk individuals, such as injection drug
users. Studies also show that women who experience IPV suffer from
mental health issues such as depression, PTSD, anxiety and low self-esteem.

Men
who engage in abusive behaviour are also more likely to engage in
high-risk sexual behaviour and use condoms infrequently, according to
studies by Columbia University researcher, Nabila El-Bassel. 'What makes
this intervention unique is that we recruited women who might currently
be in abusive relationships or as recent as the last 3 months. It is
more challenging to work with women with recent experiences of IPV,
compared to lifetime experiences of IPV,' Mittal said. The study is
published in AIDS and Behavior. (Read: 11 things about HIV/AIDS you didn't know)