Adverse Impact of Intimate Partner Violence Against HIV-Positive Women During Pregnancy and Post-Partum: Results From a Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies

Trauma Violence Abuse. 2023 Jul;24(3):1624-1639. doi: 10.1177/15248380211073845. Epub 2022 Mar 8.


Objectives: Intimate partner violence (IPV) against pregnant or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive women have been previously studied. However, data on the impact of IPV on HIV-positive pregnant women have not been systematically synthesized. We performed a meta-analysis to explore this issue and provide evidence regarding IPV prevention and HIV infection control. Method: The PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, and Embase databases were systematically searched. Studies that quantitatively assessed the association between IPV and its adverse impact on HIV-positive women during pregnancy and post-partum were eligible for inclusion. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) were calculated. Findings: Eight studies were identified to meet our eligibility criteria. The adverse impacts of IPV against HIV-positive pregnant women mainly included nonadherence to maternal antiretroviral treatment during pregnancy, nondisclosure of HIV-positive status to male partners, nonadherence to infant antiretroviral prophylaxis, and antenatal depression. IPV caused a 180% and 145% increase in the odds of antenatal depression and nonadherence to infant antiretroviral prophylaxis, respectively, among HIV-positive women, compared to the odds of their IPV-free counterparts [OR = 2.80, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.66-4.74; OR = 2.45, 95% CI: 1.40-4.27]. Conclusion: Limited evidence has suggested that IPV against HIV-positive pregnant women caused maternal depression during pregnancy and led to the possible failure of HIV prophylaxis adherence in infants. Interventions to address IPV may ultimately reduce the risk of depression-related adverse birth outcomes and vertical transmission in infants exposed to maternal HIV. Prevention and control against IPV should be developed for HIV-positive pregnant women.

Keywords: adverse impact; human immunodeficiency virus; intimate partner violence; meta-analysis; pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intimate Partner Violence*
  • Male
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*
  • Pregnant Women