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One in three women in the United States experiences intimate partner violence. For women living with HIV, it is one in two. Having an abusive partner is associated with a higher risk for HIV and, for those living with HIV, worse health outcomes. Empowered: Women, HIV & Intimate Partner Violence is a new campaign from Greater Than AIDS to increase understanding of the concerning intersection of these issues. The campaign is produced in partnership with the National Domestic Violence Hotline, loveisrespect, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Positive Women’s Network-USA and The Well Project, with additional support from The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. Anchored by a 20-minute video featuring Tonya Lewis Lee – lawyer, author, producer and longtime advocate for women’s health issues – the campaign takes an up-close look at the issue from the perspective of five women living with HIV who have had experience with, and received services related to, intimate partner violence. A community tool kit is available free to support organizations serving women. Please click here to view the full press release.
There is an urgent need for us to talk about this now. Women who experience intimate partner violence are more at risk for HIV. If you’re experiencing abuse, the power dynamics make it so that it can be hard to negotiate safe sex or you can be at risk of forced sex with an infected partner. On the other side, women living with HIV are at an increased risk for experiencing intimate partner violence. For many, revealing their status can lead to abuse. Additionally, the shame and depression that often accompanies abuse can make it harder for women to stay up on their medications or connected to care. These conversations are so important if we want to confront the silence and shame that keeps so many women from getting needed care and access to resources that can help.
To access more information, videos and tools, please visit Empowered: Women, HIV & Intimate Partner Violence campaign. Watch. Share. Discuss.