HIV-infected women who do and do not report intimate partner violence: CD4 counts and opportunistic infections
Nava, Ma De Los Angeles
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Women are disproportionally affected by intimate partner violence and HIV infection. The association between intimate partner violence and HIV infection among women has been identified in research; however, no published literature was found that examined the association of intimate partner violence and HIV disease progression as measured by CD4 count and opportunistic infections. This non-experimental, comparative, descriptive study examined CD4 count and opportunistic infections among 272 HIV- infected women, receiving care for the past 12 months at a publically-funded HIV specialty clinic, who did and did not report intimate partner physical and sexual violence. The women were interviewed using the Severity of Violence Against Women Scale and the Danger Assessment. Clinical data was abstracted from the electronic medical record. The t test for independent samples was used to test the significant difference in the mean CD4 count (Hypothesis 1) and opportunistic infections (Hypothesis 2) between women who did and did not report intimate partner violence in the past 12 months. The Pearson's r was used to test Hypothesis three and four examining the relationships between Severity of Violence Against Women Scale, Danger Assessment scores, and mean CD4 count. The mean CD4 count of the women who reported intimate partner violence (M = 499.36, SD = 290.59) was lower compared to women who did not report violence (M =549.43, SD = 294.67); however, the differences was not significant (t(270) = -1.41,p = .08]. An independent t test revealed that HIV-infected women who reported intimate partner violence had significantly more opportunistic infections (M = .24, SD = .545) compared to HIV-infected women who did not report violence (M= .10, SD= .301), t(223.6) = 2.64,p < .0125. A Pearson's correlation was computed to examine the relationship between the Severity of Violence Against Women Scale scores and mean CD4 count among HIV-infected women. The analysis did not reveal a relationship between the two variables, r(l42) = .08, p = .181. Likewise, a correlation between the Danger Assessment score and mean CD4 count was not established, r(140) = .04, p = .328.