Addressing gender inequality and intimate partner violence as critical barriers to an effective HIV response in sub-Saharan Africa

Charlotte Watts, Janet Seeley Journal of the International AIDS Society , 2014; Watts C and Seeley J. Journal of the International AIDS Society 2014, 17:19849 Addressing gender inequality and intimate partner violence as critical barriers to an effective HIV response in sub-Saharan Afri

A growing body of evidence on the scale and consequences of gender inequality and violence has garnered international attention. Many argue for an indicator on violence against women (VAW) to be included in the post-MDG sustainable development agenda. Work from STRIVE researchers and many others shows the association of HIV vulnerability and VAW, as well as the benefits for HIV of effective VAW prevention.

In this commentary in the Journal of the International AIDS Society (JIAS), Charlotte Watts and Dr Janet Seeley discuss over-arching lessons from three recently published JIAS papers.

1. Bidirectional links between HIV and intimate partner violence in pregnancy: implications for prevention of mother-to-child transmission

Hatcher and colleagues present qualitative data from women attending ante-natal clinics in Johannesburg. HIV diagnosis during pregnancy and subsequent partner disclosure are common triggers for violence within relationships. This exacerbates the challenges women face in adhering to medication or using services.

2. The impact of SASA!, a community mobilisation intervention, on reported HIV-related risk behaviours and relationship dynamics in Kampala, Uganda

Kyegombe and colleagues present a secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial of SASA! in Uganda. The programme achieved promising impact on physical partner violence at community level. Men in intervention communities reported significantly lower levels of sexual concurrency and higher rates of condom use and HIV testing.

3. The cost and cost-effectiveness of gender-focused interventions for HIV: a systematic review

Remme and colleagues present a systematic review of the costs and cost-effectiveness of gender-responsive HIV interventions. Despite an ever-growing evidence base on programmes, they report a paucity of accompanying economic analyses, making it difficult to assess the costs or value for money of gender-focused programmes.

Filter by