Association between domestic violence and HIV serostatus among married and formerly married women in Kenya

Health Care Women Int. 2015;36(2):205-28. doi: 10.1080/07399332.2014.943840. Epub 2014 Oct 8.


The prevalence of both domestic violence (DV) and HIV among Kenyan women is known to be high, but the relationship between them is unknown. Nationally representative cross-sectional data from married and formerly married (MFM) women responding to the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2008/2009 were analyzed adjusting for complex survey design. Multivariable logistic regressions were used to assess the covariate-adjusted associations between HIV serostatus and any reported DV as well as four constituent DV measures: physical, emotional, sexual, and aggravated bodily harm, adjusting for covariates entered into each model using a forward stepwise selection process. Covariates of a priori interest included those representing marriage history, risky sexual behavior, substance use, perceived HIV risk, and sociodemographic characteristics. The prevalence of HIV among MFM women was 10.7% (any DV: 13.1%, no DV: 8.6%); overall prevalence of DV was 43.4%. Among all DV measures, only physical DV was associated with HIV (11.9%; adjusted odds ratio: 2.01, p <.05). Efforts by the government and women's groups to monitor and improve policies to reduce DV, such as the Sexual Offences Act of 2006, are urgently needed to curb HIV, as are policies that seek to provide DV counseling and treatment to MFM women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Divorce
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • HIV Seropositivity
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Kenya / epidemiology
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Marital Status*
  • Marriage
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population
  • Spouse Abuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Spouses / statistics & numerical data
  • Urban Population
  • Young Adult