Reducing Intimate Partner Violence & Its Effects Among Positive Women

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Reducing Intimate Partner Violence & Its Effects Among Positive Women

The HIV.gov website reports that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office on Women’s Health (OWH) has awarded more than $3-million to community-based programs working to reduce the negative health impacts on women of intimate partner violence (IPV) and HIV.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women who report a history of IPV are more likely to experience an increased risk for HIV transmission through injection drug use, a sexually transmitted infection, and/or exchanging money or drugs for sex. Further, the CDC reports that women already living with HIV are significantly more likely to experience IPV than other women—overall, 25% of women have experienced severe IPV (e.g., beating, burning, strangling), but a staggering 55% of women living with HIV report this level of abuse.

In response to a growing number of studies on IPV and HIV, the OWH has granted over $3 million to four organizations located in the prioritized jurisdictions of the Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America (EHE) initiative to end the HIV epidemic in America by reducing new infections by 75% in five years and by 90% in ten years. The recipients of the funds are the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX; the University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX; The Center for Women and Families, Inc., Louisville, Kentucky; and the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies, New Orleans, Louisiana.

In a press release, Dorothy Fink, MD, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Women’s Health and OWH Director said, “We are working to break this link between IPV and HIV by protecting women through violence-prevention efforts and providing services in communities where women are most at risk.”

Further, Tammy Beckham, DVM, PhD, Director of the HHS Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy, said: “HHS is proud to support these grants to bring us closer to integrating violence prevention and HIV prevention into health services. That integration means we can offer women at risk for IPV both the medical care they need to prevent or treat HIV effectively and the social services that can help them avoid or end cycles of violence and abuse.”


Learn more about Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America and the OWH anti-violence grants at www.HIV.gov.

—Reporting by Hank Trout


Hank Trout, Senior Editor, edited Drummer, Malebox, and Folsom magazines in the early 1980s. A long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS (diagnosed in 1989), he is a forty-year resident of San Francisco, where he lives with his husband Rick. Follow him on Twitter @HankTroutWriter.