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Intimate partner violence among HIV-positive women in Nairobi, Kenya

Authors Brooks RD, Jolly PE, Marsh L, Velazquez JM, Padilla L, Jaoko WG

Received 29 January 2019

Accepted for publication 9 July 2019

Published 19 August 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 451—461


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Elie Al-Chaer

RD Brooks,1 PE Jolly,1 L Marsh,1 JM Velazquez,1 L Padilla,1 WG Jaoko2

1Department of Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, Birmingham, AL, USA; 2Department of Medical Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

Correspondence: PE Jolly
Department of Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Public Health, 1665 University Boulevard, RPHB 217, Birmingham, Alabama 35294-0022, USA
Tel +1 205 934 1823
Fax +1 205 975 3329

Purpose: This study was conducted to identify the prevalence and sociodemographic factors associated with four forms of intimate partner violence (IPV) among HIV-positive women attending the Comprehensive Care Centre at the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 600 sexually active HIV-positive women aged 18–69 years from May to August of 2012. A structured questionnaire including questions pertaining to sociodemographic characteristics, health care decisions, and forms of IPV (controlling behavior, emotional abuse, physical violence, and sexual violence) was administered to each woman.
Results: All women reported experiencing emotional abuse; 20%, 17%, and 15% experienced controlling behavior, physical violence, and sexual violence, respectively. Women who reported low/below average socioeconomic status (SES) had a greater likelihood of experiencing controlling behavior than women with high/average SES (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] =1.62, 95% CI 1.05–2.51). Women who were unemployed had greater odds of experiencing physical violence than those who were employed (aOR =2.35, 95% CI 1.31–4.23). Non-Christian women had higher odds of experiencing controlling behavior, physical violence, and sexual violence than Christian women (aOR =4.41, 95% CI 1.81–10.76 and aOR =3.33, 95% CI 1.43–7.80).
Conclusion: Based on the prevalence of IPV and the sociodemographic factors identified to be associated with IPV among women in this study it may be beneficial to include IPV screening as part of routine clinic visits for HIV-positive and other women. Furthermore, women who report emotional abuse or controlling behavior from spouse should not be overlooked, as these two forms of IPV may precede or accompany physical and sexual IPV. Women who report experiencing IPV during clinic visits may be referred to organizations and resources available to battered women in Kenya. Increased funding for anti-IPV programs and changes in policy may also contribute to a reduction in IPV among HIV-positive and other women in Kenya.

Keywords: intimate partner violence, emotional abuse, sexual violence, physical violence, controlling behavior, violence against women

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