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Intimate Partner Violence and HIV Risk among Women in Primary Health Care Delivery Services in Vhembe District, South Africa.
The aim of the study is to investigate intimate partner violence and HIV risk among women attending primary care health care facilities in Vhembe district, South Africa. The sample included 389 women with a mean age of 28 years (SD=7.1) randomly selected from four primary care facilities. Results indicate high rates of intimate partner violence and HIV risk: 34% of the women reported a history of having an STI in the past 12 months, 17% had consistently (every time) used a condom with their primary partner in the past three months, and 59% reported knowing that their primary partners placed them at risk for HIV transmission. Combining physical or sexual abuse 28.5% of the women reported that this IPV was perpetrated within the preceding 12 months. Logistic regression identified lower educational level, having had more sexual partners in the past 12 months, primary partner with known HIV risk, frequency of binge drinking among the primary partner and having had an STI as predictors for physical or sexual abuse. Among women who reported a history of physical or sexual abuse in the past 12 months only 26.9% had disclosed their abuse status to their health care provider, and yet, 47.1% of the abused women agreed that a health care provider should routinely ask the patient about abuse. Accordingly, programmes for the prevention of intimate partner violence and HIV risk need to target the above identified underlying factors. Health care workers are in a unique position to routinely assess all female patients for abuse and offer effective interventions that can improve their health.
Gender and Behaviour Vol. 5 (2) 2007: pp. 1302-1317