`Women suffering domestic violence more prone to HIV`

Pune: Incidence of violence of all forms is significantly higher among HIV-positive women than among HIV-negative women, a study conducted by doctors at the Armed Forces Medical College here revealed.

Conducted at a tertiary care hospital in Pune on a randomly selected 150 married women (75 HIV-positive and 75 HIV-negative) seeking treatment there, the study revealed that 56 per cent of HIV-positive women reported of domestic violence.

Violence and the fear of violence are emerging as important risk factors contributing to the vulnerability to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection among women, the study said.

The finding highlighted in this study is the strong association between violence and women`s HIV status. A study on National Family Health Survey-3 data of India had found that married Indian women experiencing both physical and sexual violence from husbands demonstrated elevated HIV infection prevalence in comparison to those not experiencing intimate partner violence.

Informed consent was obtained from all the women and also a trained counsellor was present during the process of data collection.

The data was collected by conducting interviews, taking precautions as laid down in the World Health Organization`s ethical and safety recommendations for research on domestic violence and using modified conflict tactics scale (CTS).

The definition of violence followed is as per the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993.
HIV-positive status, rural residence, number of children, and alcohol consumption by husband were significant factors putting the women at higher risk of domestic violence, the study showed.


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