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

Academic Article


  • 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 HIVpositive and other women in Kenya.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Brooks RD; Jolly PE; Marsh L; Velazquez JM; Padilla JM; Jaoko WG
  • Start Page

  • 451
  • End Page

  • 461
  • Volume

  • 11