The authors conducted this study to determine the association between intimate partner violence (IPV), victimization, and perpetration, and prevalent STI and STI risk behaviors in a sample of young women. The team introduced the study by noting that such violence "is common among young adult relationships" and is linked "with significant morbidity," including STI.
The analysis used data from wave 3 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The subjects were the 3,548 women who reported a sexual relationship in the previous three months and agreed to undergo STI testing. To determine associations between STI and STI risk behaviors and IPV, a multivariate random effects model was used.
Reported IPV prevalence during the past year was 32 percent: 3 percent victim-only; 12 percent perpetrator only; and 17 percent reciprocal. STI prevalence was 7.1 percent. Partner concurrency was reported by 17 percent of participants; 32 percent reported condom use at last vaginal intercourse.
Multivariate analysis showed victim-only and reciprocal IPV were associated with not reporting condom use at last vaginal intercourse. Perpetrator-only, victim-only, and reciprocal IPV all were associated with partner concurrency. A greater likelihood of prevalent STI (odds ratio: 2.1; 95 percent confidence interval: 1.0-4.2) was associated with victim-only IPV.
"This analysis adds to the growing body of literature that suggests that female IPV victims have a higher STI prevalence, as well as a higher prevalence of STI risk behaviors, compared with women in nonviolent relationships," the authors concluded. "Women in violent relationships should be considered for STI screening in clinics, and IPV issues should be addressed in STI prevention messages, given its impact on risk for STI acquisition."
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