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Violence Vict. 2010;25(6):787-98.

The impact of childhood sexual abuse and intimate partner violence on sexually transmitted infections.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Kentucky, Chandler Hospital, Lexington, KY 40536-0293, USA.


Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and adult intimate partner violence (IPV) have both been found to be associated with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) independently, but studies of STIs have rarely looked at victimization during both childhood and adulthood. This paper examines the relationship between CSA, IPV and STIs using data from a nested case-control study of 309 women recruited from multiple health care settings. Overall, 37.3% of women experienced no violence, 10.3% experienced CSA only, 27.3% experienced IPV only, and 25.0% experienced both CSA and IPV. Having ever been diagnosed with an STI was associated with violence (CSA only, odds ratios [OR] = 2.8, 95% confidence intervals [CI] = 1.0-7.5; IPV only, OR = 2.2, 95% CI = 1.0-4.9; CSA and IPV: OR = 4.0, 95% CI = 1.7-9.4), controlling for demographic characteristics. Women who experienced CSA were younger when they were first diagnosed. Understanding how both childhood and adult victimization are associated with diagnosis of STIs is important to reducing the incidence and prevalence of STIs, as well as the associated consequences of STIs.

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