Spousal Violence and Women's HIV Status

Rebecca Winter, ICF International
Sunita Kishor, ICF International

This study examines the relationship between spousal violence and women’s HIV status using DHS data from five African countries. It uses couples data and nuanced measures of five forms of violence. We apply a gender-based framework in which the association between a woman’s experience of spousal violence and her HIV status are mediated by her husband’s and her own behavioral and situational HIV risk factors, factors which are also shown to be associated with spousal violence. We develop a series of mediation models to test the direct effect of spousal violence and the role of risk factors as mediators. Numerous associations between spousal violence and wives’ and husbands’ risk factors on one hand, and between these factors and women’s HIV status on the other suggest several possible mediators. When added to our base model, spousal violence factors no longer significantly predict women’s HIV status, with the exception of physical violence.

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Presented in Session 76: The Causes and Consequences of Gender-Based Violence