Intimate Partner Violence after Disclosure of HIV Test Results among Pregnant Women in Harare, Zimbabwe

Shamu S, Zarowsky C, Shefer T, Temmerman M, Abrahams N PLoS One, 2014; Intimate Partner Violence after Disclosure of HIV Test Results among Pregnant Women in Harare, Zimbabwe

HIV status disclosure is a central strategy in HIV prevention and treatment but in high prevalence settings women test disproportionately and most often during pregnancy. This study reports intimate partner violence (IPV) following disclosure of HIV test results by pregnant women.

The study demonstrates the interconnectedness of IPV, HIV status and its disclosure with IPV which was a common experience post disclosure of both an HIV positive and HIV negative result.

This cross sectional study consisted of interviews with 1,951 postnatal women who tested positive and negative for HIV about IPV experiences following HIV test disclosure and used an adapted WHO questionnaire. Multivariate regression models assessed factors associated with IPV after disclosure and controlled for factors such as previous IPV and other known behavioural factors associated with IPV.

Among other findings;

  • over 93% (1,817) disclosed the HIV results to their partners
  • HIV prevalence was 15.3%, 35.2% among non-disclosers and 14.3% among disclosers
  • 32.8% reported IPV
  • IPV after HIV disclosure in pregnancy is high but lower than and is strongly related with IPV before pregnancy¬†

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