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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Do domestic violence and economic autonomy affect risky sexual behavior within marriage?

Annie M. Dude, Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago, 1155 South 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, 773-665-9960, anniemd@uchicago.edu

While prevalence of the HIV/AIDS virus in most Central American and Caribbean countries has not yet reached the levels found in some nations of Sub-Saharan Africa, there exists potential for the infection to move beyond high-risk groups into the general heterosexual population. The epidemic in Haiti has already progressed to this stage, with heterosexual transmission being the driving mechanism behind the country's 5.9% prevalence rate, the highest in the region (UNAIDS). Preventative policies aimed at curbing HIV and STI infections in these countries have focused on woman-based initiatives, such as the use of condoms. The threat or reality of domestic violence, as well as the subservient economic status of women within the household, might undermine these prevention campaigns as women might not have the autonomy within marriage to protect themselves. Using Department of Health Survey (DHS) data from the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Nicaragua, I explore the relationship between the incidence, nature, and perceptions of the acceptability of domestic violence and womens' economic autonomy within households. I then explore whether these factors are correlated with one another, and with increased risky sexual behaviors of women, such as increased frequency of unprotected sex and the ability to protect themselves against partners with known sexually-transmitted infections. I look at whether more violent men also have an increased number of partners. I conclude by examining whether domestic violence is correlated with increased STI rates among women and their partners, and what these results might mean for preventative campaigns.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Domestic Violence, Developing Countries

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA