HIV and Intimate Partner Violence

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“Women who report experiencing trauma often do not have the power or self-confidence to protect themselves from acquiring HIV. Once infected, women who experience ongoing abuse are often not in positions of power to effectively care for themselves or to insist that their partners protect themselves. Effectively addressing trauma has the potential to both improve the health of HIV-positive women and that of the community.”
Dr. Edward Machtinger, Director of The Women’s HIV Program (WHP) at the University of San Francisco

“Violence against women doesn’t go away with an HIV diagnosis. HIV diagnosis may in fact exacerbate violence against women.”

Naina Khanna, Executive Director of Positive Women’s Network

Gender, patriarchy and culture interact in complex ways to influence a woman’s health, relationship dynamics, and the degree of control within her relationships. Asian American and Pacific Islander girls and women’s risks of contracting HIV are influenced by biological, socioeconomic, and cultural factors including age, immigration status and migration patterns, exposure to sexual violence in conflict zones in their home countries, domestic violence, early forced marriage, and sexual and gender identity.

Key Statistics on HIV and IPV  in the U.S.

Resources on HIV and Intimate Partner Violence

HIV and Intimate Partner Violence Among Asian American and Pacific Islander Women, 2016

This factsheet raises awareness about the nexus of HIV and IPV, analyzes factors contributing to elevated risk for Asian American and Pacific Islander women and girls, and contextualizes cultural barriers. It offers recommendations to increase coordination between HIV and domestic violence service agencies for Asians and Pacific Islanders, and the need for trauma-informed, gender-sensitive interventions to mitigate the sociocultural and gendered harms abused women and girls in our communities face.

Other Resources

Asian & Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDs, Inc (APICHA): South Asian Immigrant Women’s HIV/AIDS Related Issues: An Exploratory Study of New York City (2005)

Banyan Tree Project: a national social marketing campaign to stop HIV/AIDS-related stigma in API communities through education and storytelling

Centers for Disease Control: webpages on HIV and Asian Women and Intersection of IPV and HIV women

Futures Without Violence webinar: Addressing the Effects of Violence and Abuse to Improve the Health Outcomes of Women Living with HIV (2015)

National Network to End Domestic Violence: Domestic Violence and HIV/AIDS Toolkit includes factsheets, handouts, service provider resources, and service provider templates

Positive Women’s Network: a national membership body of women living with HIV and allies that exists to strengthen the strategic power of all women living with HIV in the United States

VAWnet Special Collection: The Intersections Between Intimate Partner Violence and HIV/AIDS (2015)

White House: Interagency Federal Working Group, Office of National AIDS Policy, White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, White House Council on Women and Girls

Women’s HIV Program at UCSF: Unraveling the Impact of Trauma on People with HIV and Their Care Providers: An Interview With Edward Machtinger (2014)

World Health Organization: Violence Against Women and HIV/AIDS: Critical Intersections: Intimate Partner Violence and HIV/AIDS