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HIV Med. 2013 May;14(5):303-10. doi: 10.1111/hiv.12009. Epub 2012 Dec 6.

Intimate partner violence in women living with HIV attending an inner city clinic in the UK: prevalence and associated factors.

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  • 1Department of Sexual Health, Homerton University Hospital, London, UK. rdhairyawan@doctors.org.uk



Studies have shown high rates of intimate partner violence (IPV) in women living with HIV, but data from the UK are lacking. We aimed to estimate the prevalence of IPV and identify associated factors in women attending our inner London HIV clinic.


We conducted a cross-sectional study of women attending our HIV clinic in May to December 2011. Participants completed a standardized questionnaire and exposure to IPV was ascertained using a validated tool. Clinical data were collected from patient records. Logistic regression models were fitted to estimate adjusted odds ratios (AORs).


This analysis was based on 191 women with available data on IPV. The median age of women was 38 years (range 21-71 years); 74.1% were African-born Black. Over half (99 of 191; 52%) reported experiencing IPV in their lifetime, with 27 of 191 (14.1%) reporting IPV within the past year and 27 of 191 (14.1%) reporting it in pregnancy. Lifetime experience of IPV was associated with mental health problems [AOR 3.44; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.24-9.57; P < 0.05] and 'other' Black (born outside sub-Saharan Africa) ethnicity (AOR 4.63; 95% CI 1.06-20.11; P < 0.05). We also found an association between older age and decreased likelihood of lifetime IPV (AOR 0.92; 95% CI 0.86-0.97; P < 0.05).


Over half of the women in this study reported lifetime experience of IPV. We found associations between IPV and mental health problems, younger age and other Black ethnicity. In view of its high prevalence, we advocate greater awareness of IPV among HIV healthcare professionals and recommend universal screening.

© 2012 British HIV Association.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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