Married women’s risk of STIs in developing countries: the role of intimate partner violence and partner’s infection status

Sunita Kishor, Macro International Inc.

Data largely from STI clinics and domestic violence shelters in developed countries suggest a higher prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STI) among women who have experienced intimate partner violence (IPV). This paper examines the validity of this relationship for women in household populations in a range developing country settings. Using the Demographic and Health Surveys data for nationally representative samples of couples in five countries—Rwanda and Kenya in Africa, India in Asia, and Bolivia and Dominican Republic in Latin America — this paper examines two specific questions: a) Is IPV an independent risk factor for self-reported STIs among married women? b) Is the IPV-STI relationship mediated by the husband’s self-reported STI status? Preliminary results suggest that husbands’ STI status does not consistently affect women’s risk of STIs; however, experience of IPV, both recent and ever, is consistently associated with an increased risk of STIs among married women, irrespective of the husband’s STI status.

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Presented in Session 109: Gender-based violence