Intimate partner violence, HIV, and mental health: a triple epidemic of global proportions

SOURCE: International Review of Psychiatry
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2016
TITLE AUTHOR(S): J.Mitchell, M.Wight, A.Van Heerden, T.J.Rochat
KEYWORDS: HIV/AIDS, MENTAL HEALTH, PARTNER VIOLENCE, WOMEN
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 9396

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Abstract

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a global health problem of epidemic proportions, affecting a third of women across the globe and as many as 60% in heavily affected regions of Africa. There is strong evidence that risk of IPV is heightened in HIV-infected women, and emerging evidence linking experiencing IPV and/or HIV to a higher likelihood of experiencing mental health problems. This triple burden makes women in Africa, living in the epicentre of HIV, all the more vulnerable. In this synthesis, this study reviewed literature pertaining to the overlap of IPV, HIV, and mental health problems. It presents a series of geographical maps illustrating the heavy burden of IPV and HIV globally, and how these coincide with a growing prevalence of mental health problems in Africa. Furthermore, it presents evidence on: the association between IPV and HIV, shared risk factors, and health consequences. This synthesis sheds light on the fact that 30% of women are affected by these three burdens concurrently, and the need for intervention is essential. Promising large scale interventions which have taken place in Africa are described, and evidence is presented in support of integrated versus targeted screening.