Correlates of HIV testing among abused women in South Africa.
Gender-based violence increases a woman's risk for HIV but little is known about her decision to get tested. We interviewed 97 women seeking abuse-related services from a nongovernmental organization (NGO) in Johannesburg, South Africa. Forty-six women (47%) had been tested for HIV. Caring for children (odds ratio [OR] = 0.27, 95% confidence interval [CI] = [0.07, 1.00]) and conversing with partner about HIV (OR = 0.13, 95% CI = [0.02, 0.85]) decreased odds of testing. Stronger risk-reduction intentions (OR = 1.27, 95% CI = [1.01, 1.60]) and seeking help from police (OR = 5.51, 95% CI = [1.18, 25.76]) increased odds of testing. Providing safe access to integrated services and testing may increase testing in this population. Infection with HIV is highly prevalent in South Africa where an estimated 16.2% of adults between the ages of 15 and 49 have the virus. The necessary first step to stemming the spread of HIV and receiving life-saving treatment is learning one's HIV serostatus through testing. Many factors may contribute to someone's risk of HIV infection and many barriers may prevent testing. One factor that does both is gender-based violence.
Adams, JL; Hansen, NB; Fox, AM; Taylor, BB; van Rensburg, MJ; Mohlahlane, R; Sikkema, KJ
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