Applying the Social-Ecological Framework to Link the Drivers of Intimate Partner Violence Among Women in the Caribbean and Their Risk for HIV Infection

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Abstract

For countries with a high prevalence of HIV such as in the Caribbean, intimate partner violence (IPV) may increase the chances for acquiring HIV infection. Using secondary data, we compared findings from studies conducted in five Caribbean countries measuring the prevalence of gender-based violence among women in Grenada, Jamaica, Guyana, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. The Social-Ecological Framework was used to categorize women's dual risk for intimate partner violence and HIV. We found that younger age, lower education, childhood experiences of abuse, income dependency, controlling behaviors of partners, non-disclosure of violence, and early sexual experiences were associated with intimate partner violence. These factors also predispose women in the Caribbean to HIV infection. The Social-Ecological Framework is applicable to understanding the drivers of intimate partner violence and HIV infection at multiple levels and for the design and promotion of combined prevention interventions. Our study also demonstrated the applicability of the Social-Ecological Framework as an analytical and predictive model underscoring the need for increased coordination across multiple actors to strengthen advocacy, given the pervasiveness of harmful social norms and gender inequalities which undermine IPV and HIV control efforts.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere49427
JournalCureus
Volume15
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2023

Keywords

  • GBV prevention
  • Social-Ecological framework
  • women
  • HIV prevention
  • Caribbean
  • gender-based violence

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