prevalence; (2) studies showing IPV as a risk factor for HIV infection among women and men; (3) studies showing both past and current violent victimization increasing HIV risk behaviors; (4) studies showing violence or fear of violence from an intimate as an impediment or as a consequence of HIV testing; (5) studies showing partner violence as a risk factor for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), which increases the rate of HIV infection; (6) studies showing the difficulties of negotiating safe sex behavior for abused partners; (7) data suggesting that various adverse health effects related to IPV compromise women’s immune systems in a way that increases their risk of HIV; and (8) data indicating that abusive men are more likely to have other sexual partners unknown to their wives.
As critical as it is to address this global epidemic, the issues of IPV and gender inequality remain inadequately addressed by most policy, research, and prevention and intervention initiatives in the United States and globally. The World Health Organization began the call for action in several publications highlighting aspects of the intersection of IPV and HIV (WHO 2000, 2004). More recently, the Institute of Medicine sought to extend this effort through a 2007 Workshop on Violence Prevention in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. As background for this most recent effort, this paper will provide a review of the existent literature, both in the United States and internationally; highlight the areas of new research; and propose directions for initiatives by which the complex interface of HIV and IPV can be addressed.
Pubmed, PsychINFO, and Scopus databases were searched using the following key words: domestic violence, intimate partner violence, relationship abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, HIV/AIDS, condom use, sexual negotiation, sexual risk reduction, intervention, and prevention. Searches were restricted to those conducted with women during the past decade (1998-2007) and submitted to or published in peer-reviewed journals in English.
Studies were eligible for inclusion in the review if they met at least one of following criteria: (1) addressed HIV/AIDS as a risk factor for violence against women; (2) addressed violence against women as a risk factor for HIV/AIDS. All studies also had to present original data (i.e., review articles