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HIV/AIDS and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Literature Review

Harvard School of Public Health | August, 01 , 2006
Harvard School of Public Health | Download (26)
As explored in the articles reviewed in this document, the epidemics of GBV and HIV overlap and interact in several complex ways. HIV infection as relevant to GBV is primarily acquired through sexual relations, which themselves are greatly influenced by socio-cultural factors, underlying which are gender power imbalances. Gender based violence, or the fear of it, may interfere with the ability to negotiate safer sex or refuse unwanted sex. Furthermore, violence against a woman can interfere with her ability to access treatment and care, maintain adherence to ARV treatment, or carry out her infant feeding choices. Evidence also exists that living with HIV can constitute a risk factor for GBV, with many people reporting experiences of violence following disclosure of HIV status, or even following admission that HIV testing has been sought. Thus a vicious cycle of increasing vulnerabilities to both GBV and HIV can be established.

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