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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2012 Mar 1;59(3):300-7. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e31823dc634.

Violence toward women, men's sexual risk factors, and HIV infection among women: findings from a national household survey in Rwanda.

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  • 1URESP, Centre de Recherche FRSQ du CHA Universitaire de Québec, Québec, Canada.



We used the third Rwanda demographic and health survey data to examine the relationship between violence toward women, men sexual risk factors, and HIV prevalence among women.


The Rwanda demographic and health survey was conducted in 10,272 households in 2005. Analyses were restricted to 2715 women and 2461 men who were legally married or cohabiting. We used logistic regression to analyze associations between HIV and violence toward women. Couple-specific analyses were carried out for assessing the relationship between men sexual risk factors and intimate partner violence (IPV) reported by their wives.


Respectively, 29.2%, 22.2%, and 12.4% of women reported having experienced physical, psychological, and sexual IPV, whereas 52.1% reported control practices by their partners. There was a positive link between IPV reported by women and attitudes justifying wife beating endorsed by their husband. After controlling for sociodemographic variables and women sexual risk factors, the odds of HIV prevalence was 3.23 (confidence interval: 1.30 to 8.03) among women with a score from 3 to 4 on the psychological IPV scale compared with those with a score from 0 to 2. Women who reported having experienced interparental violence (father who beat mother) were more likely to test HIV positive as follows: adjusted odds ratio: 1.95; 95% confidence interval: 1.11 to 3.43. There was also a statistically significant relationship between men risky sexual factors and experience of IPV and HIV prevalence among women.


Violence toward women is associated with HIV in Rwanda. Intervention to reduce gender-based violence should be integrated into HIV/AIDS policy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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