Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection remains a critical public health concern in many countries, and is fueled by gender inequality and disparity, which has resulted in a fundamental violation of women’s human rights. A study published in BMC Public Health sought to discern the association of intimate partner violence (IPV) and other risk factors with the prevalence of HIV infection among married women in India.
To conduct this study, researchers utilized data from the India National Family Health Survey from 2015 to 2016). They used bivariate analysis to estimate the prevalence of HIV and logistic regression analysis to discern the association between IPV, factors such as having an alcoholic husband or lifetime partner, and HIV infection among currently married women.
The study results showed that married women who had faced physical, sexual, and emotional violence from their husbands/partners were nearly twice as likely to have tested HIV positive compared to married women who did not face violence (odds ratio [OR]=2.14, 95% confidence interval, 1.08-4.50). The researchers observed that the odds of testing HIV positive were appreciably higher among the married women experiencing IPV and having an alcoholic husband (OR= 4.48, 95% CI, 1.87-10.70) than those who did not experience IPV and did not have an alcoholic husband. Moreover, having more than one lifetime partner had a positive association with HIV infection compared to those with one partner (OR= 2.45, CI, 1.21-4.16).
The investigators concluded that these findings suggest “that gender-based violence and an alcoholic husband may represent a significant factor of HIV infection among married women and interventions should on focus such vulnerable populations.”
Keywords: HIV, Intimate partner violence, Married women