Journal Article

A lifetime of violence: Results from an exploratory survey of Mexican women with HIV

Despite recognition that traditional Mexican gender norms can contribute to the twin epidemics of violence against women and HIV, there is an absence of published literature on experiences of violence among Mexican women with HIV. We conducted a cross-sectional survey with 77 HIV-infected women from 21 of Mexico’s 32 states to describe experiences of violence before and after HIV-diagnosis. We measured lifetime physical, sexual, and psychological violence; physical violence from a male partner in the previous 12 months; and physical and psychological violence related to disclosing an HIV diagnosis. Respondents reported ever experiencing physical violence (37.3%) and sexual violence (29.2%). Disclosure of HIV status resulted in physical violence for 7.2% and psychological violence for 26.5% of the respondents. This study underlines the need to identify and address past and current gender-based violence during pre- and post-HIV test counseling and as a systematic and integral part of HIV care.