n Journal of Gender, Information and Development in Africa (JGIDA) - Gender based violence among HIV positive women in Kenya

Volume 2, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 2050-4276
  • E-ISSN: 2050-4284


Women who test HIV positive have been shown to fear disclosing their status to their partners lest they face physical violence due to an assumption that a positive result is indicative of promiscuity. The extent to which gender based violence occurs among women who become HIV positive in Kenya is not known. The present study has explored the extent of gender-based violence among HIV positive women attending Kenyatta National Hospital Comprehensive Care Clinic (CCC). The study has also examined the association between gender based violence, HIV seropositive status, and the risk of violence associated with requests for male sexual partners to use condoms during intercourse. Women who were aged between 18 and 69 years, and who had been sexually active for the past 6 months with 1 sexual partner were recruited for this study upon providing informed consent, and were placed into a focus groups consisting of 8-10 women each. The focus group discussions were designed to assess issues related to gender based violence on women, and were implemented over the course of 1 month. Each focus group was facilitated by 1 trained moderator who was assisted by 2 note takers, and was audio recorded. A structured questionnaire was administered to each woman and a disclosure of their informed consent. The interview conducted examined HIV disclosure, sexual behaviors, reproductive practices, and abuse assessment. Women who screened positive for intimate partner violence were referred to the "Working Mothers with HIV and AIDs in Kenya (WOMAHAVIK)" organization for counseling and assistance. Women who revealed harmful situations were referred to the AIDS and Equity Tribunal, based at the National AIDS Control Unit that offers counseling, legal and other services. This study was largely descriptive.

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