Discussion paper: Linkages between violence against women and HIV in Asia and the Pacific

14 Nov 2013


While research conducted in sub-Saharan Africa and in hyper-epidemic settings have established that violence against women drives and fuels the HIV epidemic, there has been little analysis done in countries with concentrated epidemics such as those in the Asia-Pacific region, and therefore little is known about how they overlap. This Discussion Paper was commission by UNDP and UNAIDS on behalf of the Asia-Pacific Inter-agency Task Team on Women, Girls, Gender Equality, and HIV (IATT), to review and analyse existing qualitative and quantitative research on the relationship between violence against women and girls and HIV in the region. The paper clearly demonstrates that violence is a risk factor for HIV, with women living with HIV more likely to report a history of violence. It also shows that HIV is a risk factor for violence, including from intimate partners, and that key HIV-affected groups of women and girls, particularly sex-workers and female drug users, face disproportionate violence. These findings provide the basis for an IATT position on VAW and HIV, which will help to sharpen policy and programmatic actions to address the inter-linkages.

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