Many studies throughout the world have shown high rates of intimate partner violence (IPV) experienced by women living with HIV but data from the UK has been lacking. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of IPV among women living with HIV and identify associated factors in women attending an inner-London HIV clinic. The authors conducted a cross-sectional study of women attending the clinic in May to December 2011.
Participants completed a standardized questionnaire and exposure to IPV was ascertained using a validated tool. Clinical data were collected from patient records. Logistic regression models were fitted to estimate adjusted odds ratios (AORs). This analysis was based data on IPV among 191 of the participants. The median age of women was 38 years (range 21-71 years); 74.1% were African-born Black. Over half, 52% (99 of 191) reported experiencing IPV in their lifetime, 14.1% (27 of 191) reported IPV within the past year and 14.1% (27 of 191) reported experiencing IPV during pregnancy. They found associations between IPV and mental health problems, younger age and among Black women. In view of its high prevalence, the authors advocate for enhanced awareness of IPV among HIV clinicians and other healthcare professionals and they recommend universal screening for IPV among women living with HIV.