Intimate Partner Violence and HIV in Zambia: A New Report

December 21st, 2018 | News

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A new report written by JSI staffers, “Brief Report: Intimate Partner Violence and Antiretroviral Therapy Initiation Among Female Sex Workers Newly Diagnosed With HIV in Zambia: A Prospective Study” has been published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. 

JSI’s Michael Chanda, Magdakebe Mwale, Steven Chongo, Catherine Kanchele, and Nyambe Kamungoma from JSI Zambia and Andrew Fullem from JSI Boston collaborated with researchers from Harvard University and the University of California – San Francisco to look at the relationship between intimate partner violence and use of HIV self-testing in a group of female sex workers newly diagnosed with HIV. 

Intimate partner violence includes physical and sexual violence by a current or former partner, and when seen among women, may threaten their engagement with HIV care and treatment. They experience higher rates of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, leading to a lack of self-protective behaviors and a reduced ability to seek out their own care. 

The women included in the study reported very high rates of intimate partner violence at just over 60%, and were less likely to take part in their HIV treatment and begin their antiretroviral therapy. The authors concluded that both structural and individual interventions for stopping violence are urgently needed to protect this population, substantially improving HIV-related health outcomes in the process. 

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