, reveals a significant overlap between violence against women and HIV infections in several of the most affected nations. Women living with HIV who had experienced intimate partner violence were 9% less likely to achieve viral load suppression, the ultimate goal of HIV treatment.
Elimination of All Forms of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
“The 2021 UN General Assembly, attended and supported by the Government of Canada, adopted the Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS with bold new global targets for 2025. It encompasses a commitment to eliminate all forms of sexual and gender-based violence, including IPV, as a key enabler of the HIV epidemic. Improving our understanding of the relationships between IPV and HIV is essential to meet this commitment,” says Professor Maheu-Giroux.
Physical or sexual intimate partner violence in the previous year was linked to recent HIV acquisition and less frequent viral load suppression, according to the study. According to the researchers, IPV could also make it difficult for women to get HIV treatment and stay on it while living with the infection.
“Given the high burden of IPV worldwide, including in Canada, the need to stem the mutually reinforcing threats of IPV and HIV on women’s health and well-being is urgent,” says Salome Kuchukhidze, a Ph.D. candidate studying epidemiology and the lead author of the research.
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