[health menu] XI International Conference on AIDS
July 7-12, 1996

Deamant C., Cohen M., Barkan S.,
Richardson J., FitzGerald G., Young M.,
Holman S., Anastos K., Cohen J., Melnick S.
WIHS Collaborative Study Group


Prevalence of Domestic and Childhood Abuse Among Women with HIV and High Risk Uninfected Women


To determine the prevalence of domestic violence and childhood abuse reported by women with HIV and women at risk for HIV.


The Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) is a multi-site cohort study of HIV infected and a comparable at risk uninfected control group. This abstract reflects the initial analysis of available data from 1103 (875 HIV + and 228 HIV-) women enrolled prior to 5/1/95. All reported values were statistically significant with p-values <.001.


Sixty seven percent of the women reported sexual or physical violence by a current or past partner and in 31% of these women this occurred within the past one year. Domestic violence was not associated with ethnicity, educational level, marital status or HIV serostatus. Higher rates of domestic violence, including abuse within the past year, occurred in women with: any lifetime drug use (71% vs. 41%), IV drug use in past 6 months (83% vs. 65%), more than 10 lifetime sex partners (75% vs. 57%), sex partner at risk for HIV (71% vs. 57%) and exchange of sex for money/drugs/shelter (81% vs. 58%). Thirty three percent had been victims of childhood sexual abuse and 15% reported childhood physical violence. Childhood abuse was associated with: IV drug use (50% vs. 35%), exchange of sex for drugs/money/shelter (56% vs. 29%), adult domestic violence (52% vs. 27%) adult sexual abuse (35% vs. 22%).


There is a high prevalence of domestic violence and childhood abuse among women with HIV and at risk for HIV. A history of childhood abuse may identify women at increased risk for sexual and physical violence and behaviours associated with increased risk for HIV infection. Effective HIV risk reduction and HIV care should also include domestic violence identification and intervention.

Catherine Deamant, M.D.
1835 West Harrison
Chicago, Il 60612 USA
Tel: (312) 633-5080; Fax: (312) 633-8333

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Created: July 16, 1996
Last modified: July 17, 1996

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