Date of Conferral
Dr. Sriya Krishnamoorthy
Women infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) are at high risk of myriad conditions, especially gender-based violence (GBV). GBV can be a hindrance to treatment adherence, which is pertinent to improving the health of people living with HIV. The purpose of this longitudinal research study was to assess the effects of GBV on treatment adherence among HIV infected women, with specific focus on when the violence occurred (recent or lifetime) and the stratifying type of GBV (sexual, physical, and psychological). The health belief model (HBM) served as a theoretical groundwork. Participants were selected from secondary data, collected by the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), and divided into 2 groups: HIV-infected women who have experienced GBV and HIV-infected women who had not. Survival analysis, specifically the Cox proportional hazards model, was used to determine whether sexual, physical, or psychological GBV and recent or lifetime GBV influenced treatment adherence along with race, income, education, and substance use. Physical GBV was found to lower adherence, and childhood physical violence had a more significant effect on adherence than recent violence. Previous drug use, smoking, and missed doses in the past 30 days were strong predictors of non-adherence. Future research should explore barriers to adherence based on the type of abuser as well as comorbidity of other conditions. Identifying and addressing issues and conditions that impact women infected with HIV can improve their quality of life while providing help for other challenges these women face throughout their lives.