HIV risk higher: Women with violent partners

The risk of acquiring the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is up to 7 times higher in women with violent or controlling intimate partners.

This was revealed by the regional manager for the National AIDS Council Secretariat, Valentine Tangoh.

He said violent men tend to have multiple sexual partners and do not often use condoms.

“Gender-based violence is a major driver of HIV in women. It affects the ability of women and girls to protect themselves from HIV or prevent unintended pregnancies or access HIV preventing services,” said Tangoh.

He stated that the traditional perception of masculinity enables and openly encourages men to dominate sexual decision-making.

Two in every 3 women are victims of violence while 55 percent of girls under 16 years have experienced sexual violence.

Tangoh said the best way to address gender-based violence is to break through harmful gender norms of society by including both men and women in various advocacy programs. 

One of those programs includes the recently launched Father Heart International Program, an initiative of the Christian Leaders Alliance on HIV and AIDS secretariat.

(File pic)

Meredith Kuusa