Swedes tie HIV risk to domestic violence

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Swedes tie HIV risk to domestic violence
File photo: TT

A Swedish research duo has found that wives who are beaten by their husbands are up to 15 percent more likely to be infected with HIV than women who do not suffer domestic violence.


"There is a statistic correlation between domestic violence and the spread of HIV," read a statement from Gothenburg University economists Dick Durevall and Annika Lindskog who examined data collected in sub-Saharan African countries. 

Their tally showed that women who suffered violence in the home were 12 to 15 percent more likely than other women to be infected with HIV. 

"We did not however find any systematic correlation between sexual violence in the home and the risk of being infected by HIV," Lindskog said. 

The Swedish researchers said that men who resort to violence often take greater sexual risks than other men. 

"They report having more relationships outside their marriage, more partners during their lifetime, and more often that they have paid for sex," the statement read.

"There can be many reasons for the link between a man's violence and his sexual behaviour," the researchers noted. "Male norms that encourage violence and many sexual partners is one possible explanation." 

The Swedish researchers had looked at the spread of HIV and Aids from the perspective that the public health challenge impeded a country's economic development. 

"(It is) a threat against social and economic development in many African countries," the statement read. "To curtail the spread of the virus we must understand the underlying mechanisms." 


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