New study links HIV testing centers with Domestic Violence screening and counseling

Courtesy Duke Global Health

A new study from Duke University recently reported the recommendation of HIV intimate partner violence (IPV) screening at HIV voluntary counseling and testing centers (VTC). The study, conducted in Tanzania, interviewed more than 2400 women at the HIV VTC site, of which 20% reported physical or sexual violence during their lifetime. “Researchers found that domestic violence, defined in this study as intimate partner violence (IPV), was reported more often among women who are older, unemployed, less educated, married or divorced, and have children. Also, women with IPV were more likely to suspect HIV or infidelity in their sexual partner or have a sexual partner who has multiple partners.

This study has important implications for HIV and IPV interventions not just in Eastern and Southern Africa but also in the Caribbean region since there has been increased focus on DV, including child abuse, and IPV across the region.

In addition, studies such as this could also be conducted at DV centers to assess who within their population is most at risk for contracting HIV. I wanted to share this study because it reminded me of my own volunteer work in the Virgin Islands with a DV organization, and made me think of the various ways investigators could conduct studies within that population.

To read the full report on the Tanzania study, visit Duke Global Health website here.

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