General News

A quarter of HIV-positive Americans have experienced violence from partners

Rachel Badham April 19, 2021

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, has found HIV-positive Americans are at a higher risk of experiencing domestic violence, with 26.3% reporting facing violence from an intimate partner. The study, titled Intimate Partner Violence Experienced by Adults With Diagnosed HIV in the US, found of those who had experienced violence at the hands of a partner, 4.4% had done so within the past 12 months.

Those who had been homeless at some point within the past year were at a higher risk of violence (37.6%) compared to those who had not (25.2%). The research also found those who were facing violence were “less likely to be engaged in routine HIV care but were more likely to seek emergency care services and have poor HIV clinical outcomes”. The authors concluded that HIV-positive Americans should be screened for intimate partner violence at initial HIV tests, as well as during routine check-ups. 

They said identifying cases of violence “may help address issues of missed medical visits, poor [treatment] adherence, and difficulty attaining and maintaining viral suppression”, adding: “When intimate partner violence is identified, supportive services should be offered. With these additional supportive services, the safety and health of people with HIV may be improved.”