Intimate partner violence among HIV infected and uninfected pregnant women delivering at a National Hospital in Tanzania: using a modified screening tool
Background: Worldwide Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a major public health problem, affecting all women and vulnerable groups such as HIV-infected women. This study aimed to test the applicability of assessment of IPV using a simple screening tool, among women giving birth at Muhimbili National Hospital in Tanzania, to estimate the prevalence and severity of IPV among HIV-infected and uninfected pregnant women, and to assess the odds of IPV among both groups of women.
Methods: A questionnaire including screening questions was applied to women delivered at Muhimbili National Hospital to identify those that experienced IPV. Demographics, HIV status, male partner’s alcohol use and sexual behaviour data were also collected. Mean age and proportions of IPV in different groups were calculated. Odds of IPV were estimated using univariate logistic regression.
Results: Majority of women (69%) experienced emotional or physical violence, and 31% experienced sexual violence. Sixty-five percent reported a lifetime prevalence of physical, emotional or sexual violence. Majority (82%) of partners of women that experienced IPV were reported as almost solely offenders in sexual violence rather than in emotional or physical violence (44%). Most participants (88%) experienced repeated emotional and physical violence. Regardless of offenders, repeated sexual violence in the preceding year (85%) was more common than physical violence (47%). Experience of IPV in HIV-positive women was comparable to the HIV-negative counterparts.
Conclusion: A simple proposed tool detected women experienced IPV before and during pregnancy but found comparable rates of violence between HIV positive and negative women.