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10 Things to Know About IPV and HIV

Violence shares an unfortunate link with an HIV diagnosis

  • August 10, 2015
  • By domesticshelters.org
10 Things to Know About IPV and HIV

It’s long been agreed upon that violence against women is a global epidemic, with some research estimating as many as 47 percent of women worldwide will endure sexual assault by an intimate partner in their lifetime, according to the World Health Organization. The side effects of intimate partner violence, or IPV, are many, from lifelong emotional trauma to serious bodily injuries, and those are just the survivors—as many as 38 percent of murders of women around the world are committed by an intimate partner.

One devastating consequence tied to IPV is an increased risk of contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Below, 10 eye-opening stats about the link between IPV and HIV.

  1. Research shows that women experiencing IPV are up to 48 percent more likely to be infected with HIV. It was also reported at the 2010 International AIDS Conference in Vienna that women experiencing IPV were twice as likely to contract HIV than those not experiencing partner violence.
  2. One reason HIV risk increases in women who are experiencing IPV is because forced sex is estimated to occur in at least 40 percent of battering relationships.
  3. The trauma of forced sexual acts can cause vaginal lacerations and abrasions, more easily allowing the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases by an infected partner.
  4. Additionally, violent sexual acts are often committed without protection, such as condom use. In a South African study, women who endured forced sex with a partner were six times more likely to use condoms inconsistently than those who did not experience coercion, resulting in these women being 1.6 times more likely to be infected with HIV than those who used condoms consistently.
  5. As of 2013, 35 million people globally were living with HIV. Sub-Saharan Africa is the most inundated spot, accounting for more than 70 percent of people living with HIV worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.
  6. There were 1.5 million AIDS-related deaths worldwide in 2013.
  7. 95 million people were tested for HIV throughout 119 countries in 2010.
  8. 11.8 percent of new HIV infections among U.S. women over age 20 were attributed to intimate partner violence, according to a 2009 study.
  9. Childhood sexual abuse or a forced first sexual experience can increase sexual risk taking, such as having multiple partners, which can increase a woman’s risk of HIV infection.
  10. IPV has been found to be a barrier for women to seek out HIV tests—many survivors are explicitly forbidden from being tested for HIV. Research also estimates that as many as 86 percent of HIV-positive women in developing countries do not disclose their HIV status to their partners out of fear of violence.

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