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Is intimate partner violence associated with HIV among women in Zimbabwe?

Year: 2010
Working paper number: 274
Author: Ngwaru, Tafara
Unit: ASRU

Intimate partner violence (IPV) has increasingly become a health problem around the world, and in particular, its association with sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV. Empirical research examining the association between IPV and HIV is very limited, especially in Southern Africa, partly due to data constraints, but there is some evidence that exposure to IPV increases HIV risk. This study investigates the association between intimate partner violence (IPV) and HIV status among Zimbabwean women using data from the 2005/06 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS). Controlling for age, household wealth, education level, age at first sexual intercourse and the number of lifetime sex partners, we find no association between sexual, psychological and physical violence and HIV-status. We also find no statistically significant association between a composite measure of IPV, which combines the above three measures of IPV, and HIV. We conclude that this may be due to two main reasons, the first being that IPV actually has no relationship with HIV-status among Zimbabwean women. The second potential reason for our findings is that the data constraints that prevent us from measuring historical IPV hamstring our efforts to quantify this association. We however call for caution when making blanket claims about the prevalence of IPV among Southern African women, and the strength of the association between IPV and HIV status among them.

Publication file: WP274.pdf