Intimate Partner Violence and HIV Status among Ever-Married and Cohabiting Zimbabwean Women: An Examination of Partners' Traits

Afr J Reprod Health. 2017 Dec;21(4):45-54. doi: 10.29063/ajrh2017/v21i4.5.


This study examines the connection between intimate partner violence (IPV) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus status among married and cohabitating women in Zimbabwe using an African feminist framework. Stata 13.0 was used to analyze data from the 2010-2011 Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey, which used a national probability sample of households in the country of Zimbabwe. This study used logistic regression to analyze the 2,830 ever-married or cohabitating women who also answered the violence and spousal traits questionnaire as well as provided blood samples. The logistic regression revealed that women who had experienced any type of intimate partner violence (odds ratio=1.29, CI [1.00, 1.67]) or broken bones (odds ratio=2.39, CI [1.19, 4.77]) were more likely to be HIV positive; relative to those with bruises bruises (odds ratio=- .64 CI [.41, .99]) were less likely. Women with partners who are trackers (odds ratio=1.28, CI [1.04, 1.59]) were more likely to be HIV positive. Patriarchal, hypermasculist culture, shown through violence against women, contributes to the likelihood of HIV in wives and partners. A cultural shift at the highest levels may help to prevent IPV and reduce the spread of HIV.

Keywords: African feminist framework; HIV; domestic violence; socioeconomic status; structural violence.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Domestic Violence*
  • Family Characteristics*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Intimate Partner Violence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexism*
  • Sexual Partners*
  • Spouse Abuse / statistics & numerical data
  • Spouses / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Women's Health
  • Young Adult
  • Zimbabwe / epidemiology