Fear and violence: raising the HIV stakes

AIDS Educ Prev. 2000 Apr;12(2):154-70.


Through focus group methodology, the study examines three contexts that delineate the co-occurrence of intimate partner violence and sexual risk behaviors among 68 women on methadone. First, it explores the ways in which the presence of physical abuse in an intimate relationship prevents women from asking their partners to use a condom. Second, it describes the ways in which the couple's drug involvement increases the risk of physical and sexual violence, and concomitant sexual HIV risks. Third, it discusses the context in which sexual assault and rape occur in these established intimate relationships and how these abusive events increase women's risks of becoming infected with HIV. The research is guided by feminist theory, which affords powerful insight into the contexts in which women are put at risk for HIV and partner violence. The study provides a discussion on the implications of the findings to HIV prevention for women who are risk for both HIV and partner violence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Condoms
  • Fear*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methadone / therapeutic use
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Spouse Abuse / psychology*
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / psychology
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / rehabilitation
  • Violence / psychology*


  • Methadone