Intersections of Gender-Based Violence, Health and HIV Module: Intersections and Implications for Providers
Experiencing intimate partner and sexual violence increases the risk for becoming infected with HIV. Once infected, people living with HIV who are also suffering abuse may experience escalation of violence upon disclosure of their status – resulting in potentially lethal outcomes. Intimate partner violence (IPV) can prevent survivors living with HIV from accessing necessary treatment and care. The stress caused by abuse can further compromise their immune systems and accelerate the progression of the disease. From HIV prevention to testing, treatment, and long term care, health care providers have many opportunities to reduce the isolation of survivors and increase their options for safety and better health.
The “Gender Based Violence, Health and HIV: Intersections and Implications for Providers” training curriculum is designed to support providers in HIV testing, counseling and care settings. The module helps provides to frame trauma-informed conversations about how healthy and unhealthy relationships can affect patients’ health, in addition connecting patients to important services.
This training highlights a tool that can be used by health care providers to start a conversation about healthy relationships and how violence can affect your health; these conversations can occur both before and after testing occurs. If there is a positive result, the accompanying safety card is particularly helpful in prompting both the patient and provider to think through safe and/or anonymous methods of partner notification. The card can also be placed in private areas such as restrooms or exam rooms.