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Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2009 May-Jun;31(3):274-8. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2009.02.004. Epub 2009 Mar 27.

Is intimate partner violence associated with HIV infection among women in the United States?

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Community Health Sciences, Psychology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada R3E 3N4. sareen@cc.umanitoba.c



This study sought to examine the association between intimate partner violence (IPV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection among a large representative sample of US women.


Data came from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (age, 20 years and older). The present analysis utilized the subsample of women who reported being in a relationship in the last year (n=13,928). Participants were asked whether they had experienced physical or sexual violence from their partner in the last year, as well as whether they had been diagnosed with HIV by a health care professional.


Past year IPV and HIV prevalence estimates among women in romantic relationships in the United States were 5.5% and 0.17%, respectively. In models adjusting for sociodemographic factors and risky sexual behaviors (e.g., age of first intercourse), IPV was significantly associated with HIV infection (adjusted odds ratios=3.44, 95% confidence interval=1.28-9.22). We also found that 11.8% of the cases of HIV infection among women were attributable to past year IPV.


The present study demonstrates a strong association between IPV and HIV in a representative sample of US women. Screening and prevention programs need to be aware of this important association.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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