Intimate Partner Violence and Antiretroviral Adherence Among Women Receiving Care in an Urban Southeastern Texas HIV Clinic

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This nonexperimental, descriptive study examined relationships between recent intimate partner violence (IPV) and antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence among women. Data from 272 HIV-infected women receiving care at a large HIV clinic were obtained through interviews and medical record abstraction. The Severity of Violence Against Women Scale was used to determine IPV experience in the previous 12 months; the prevalence of recent IPV in our sample was 52%. Mean Domestic Violence Specific Morisky Medication Adherence Scale scores among women experiencing recent IPV were significantly lower (M = 5.49, SD = 2.06) than in women without IPV experiences (M = 6.57, SD = 1.57, t[262.1] = 4.91, p < .001). A greater proportion of detectable viral loads (Fisher's exact p < .001) was found in women experiencing recent IPV compared to women who did not experience IPV. The data indicate that clinicians should screen HIV-infected women frequently for IPV when assessing ART adherence.

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