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The Effects of Intimate Partner Violence on Engagement in the HIV Care Continuum and Treatment Adherence

Lead Investigator: Andrea Wirtz

Co-investigators and/or partners: Maria Wawer, Nancy Glass, Nancy Perrin, Rakai Health Sciences Program

Dates of project: January 1, 2016 – ongoing

Description: Globally, 30% of women report lifetime experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV). Recent research has established the link between IPV and HIV acquisition, lending importance towards understanding the role of and addressing IPV among HIV-infected women and clinical care for survivors of IPV. This mixed methods study utilizes prospective data from women living with HIV in Rakai, Uganda to 1) Estimate the impact of IPV on engagement in the HIV care continuum, treatment adherence, and progression to AIDS and mortality among HIV-infected women, 2) Investigate the role of IPV-type and partner characteristics in HIV outcomes via subgroup and dyadic analysis of linked couples’ data; 3) Explore contexts and mechanisms by which IPV affects HIV care and treatment through qualitative, in-depth interviews with HIV-infected women and health providers. In high HIV burden settings, the understanding the role of IPV in HIV treatment adherence and disease progression may be critical to designing comprehensive programs to engage, retain people living with HIV in care, and improve treatment adherence and clinical outcomes.