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Mental health, partner violence and HIV risk among women with protective orders against violent partners in Vhembe district, South Africa

Mental health, partner violence and HIV risk among women with protective orders against violent partners in Vhembe district, South Africa

Asian Journal of Psychiatry 6(6): 494-499

The aim of this study was to assess mental health, substance use and intimate partner violence in relation to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) risk in South Africa. In all 268 women (18 years and older) consecutively receiving a protection order in the Vhembe district in South Africa were assessed by an external interviewer. Results indicate that 69.8% of the women had never used a condom with their abusive partner and 16.4% had been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the past three months. A high proportion (51.9%) had Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression (66.4%). In multivariate analysis, being married or cohabiting, lower psychological abuse, higher physical violence and lower sexual violence, and having a PTSD was associated with never using a condom in the past 3 months; higher psychological abuse and higher physical and sexual violence were associated with a history of an STI in the past 3 months. Severity of physical and sexual intimate partner violence and suffering from PTSD increased HIV risk calling for multimodal interventions.

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Accession: 036981316

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PMID: 24309860

DOI: 10.1016/j.ajp.2013.06.005

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