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About Abuse

Abuse Among People Living with HIV/AIDS

Updated: 
May 25, 2018

Can domestic violence increase the risk of exposure to HIV?

There are documented links between intimate partner violence (IPV) and HIV/AIDS. For instance, women in relationships where IPV is present are four times more likely to get sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in general, including HIV. When someone is in a sexually-abusive relationship, s/he is two to ten times more likely to get an STI. This could be because:

  • the abuser might be forcing the victim to have sex with an infected partner (him/herself or an outside partner);
  • the victim might not be able to engage in safer sex or safer sex negotiations with the abuser;
  • the abuser might be practicing risky sexual behaviors with other partners, which could put the victim at risk; and/or
  • the abuser could be luring or forcing the victim to participate in risky sexual behaviors.1

To learn more about the links between domestic violence and HIV, you can go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

1 This information has been adapted from information compiled by the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence’s “Domestic Violence and HIV/AIDS” page.