Implementing an intimate partner violence (IPV) screening protocol in HIV care

AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2015 Mar;29(3):133-41. doi: 10.1089/apc.2014.0306. Epub 2015 Jan 13.


HIV and intimate partner violence (IPV) epidemics propagate and interact in a syndemic fashion contributing to excess burden of disease and poorer health outcomes. In order to understand the impact of IPV on HIV disease management, a universal screening program was implemented in the Southern Alberta Clinic in May 2009. We evaluated our IPV screening protocol and made recommendations for its usage in HIV care. IPV data obtained from patients were evaluated, supplemented with responses from a subset of in-depth interviews. 35% of 1721 patients reported experiencing IPV. Prevalence was higher among females (46%), Aboriginal Canadians (67%), bisexual male/females (48%), and gay males (35%). Of 158 patients interviewed, only 22% had previously been asked about IPV in any health care setting. Patients were responsive to routine IPV screening emphasizing that referral services need to be easily accessible. 23% of patients disclosing IPV subsequently connected to additional IPV resources after screening. We recommend that universal IPV screening be incorporated within regular HIV clinic care. The IPV survey should be given after trust has been established with regular follow-up every 6-12 months. A referral process to local agencies dealing with IPV must be in place for patients disclosing abuses.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alberta / epidemiology
  • Domestic Violence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Partners / psychology*
  • Spouse Abuse / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*