How does the presence of HIV impact the abuser's behavior?
An HIV-positive abuser may use his/her HIV status as a way of gaining control over the victim.
Here are some behaviors that HIV-positive (HIV+) abusers use to gain power and control over a victim:
- Manipulating a victim into believing that the abuser's health will get worse if the victim leaves;
- Blaming the victim for any negative changes in the abuser's health;
- Infecting or threatening to infect a victim to intimidate him/her into staying;*
- Faking illness in order to get a victim to stay or to return if s/he has already left;**
- Forcing the victim to do sexual acts against his/her will that put the victim at risk for contracting HIV or threatening to commit these acts; and
- Purposefully trying to infect the victim under the theory that if the victim is also infected, there is a better chance that s/he won't leave the abuser.*
* This information has been adapted from information compiled by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs - see "HIV/AIDS and Domestic Violence"
** This information has been adapted from information compiled by the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence - see "Domestic Violence and HIV/AIDS"