204888 Intimate partner violence and HIV syndemic among MSM: Gaining a better understanding of disease overlap

Monday, November 9, 2009

Shruti Ramachandran, MPH, MID , NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, NY
Jessica Burke, PhD, MHS , Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, PA
Anthony Silvestre, PhD , Center for Research on Health and Sexual Orientation and Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, PA
Martha Ann Terry, PhD , Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Background: Social marginalization and homophobia often foster the production of syndemics and health disparities among MSM populations. Despite findings of the overlap between intimate partner violence (IPV) and HIV in various at-risk populations, research among MSM continues to be limited. A systematic literature review was conducted with the primary objectives of synthesizing relevant literature addressing the intersection of HIV and IPV among MSM, summarizing and critiquing this set of literature, and discussing the implications for future research and practice.

Methods: A comprehensive literature search of HIV and IPV among MSM resulted in the synthesis of 19 studies in the U.S.. Articles were considered for full review if they met with previously established inclusion criteria. The final set of literature was analyzed for general content and matters related to research design and methodology.

Results: Rates of MSM-specific IPV ranged from 12% to 56%. Prevalence of various forms of IPV among HIV positive MSM was revealed. Partner abuse was associated with risky sexual behavior, thereby placing MSM at greater risk for HIV. Age, race, and childhood abuse were identified as correlates in this dual epidemic. Several studies also noted the co-occurrence of substance abuse, partner violence, and HIV as a trend among MSM.

Conclusion: The small set of literature regarding the HIV and IPV syndemic suggests excess burden of disease in MSM populations. Sound research design, measurement, and community-based participatory approaches are ultimately required for the development of MSM-specific interventions and prevention programs that tackle and stunt these mutually reinforcing epidemics.

Learning Objectives:
Describe overall rates of partner violence among men who have sex with men (MSM). Identify points of interaction and correlates related to the intersection of HIV and partner violence among MSM. Discuss research and practice implications for these co-occurring epidemics.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Domestic Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I focused my academic and professional experiences in the fields of intimate partner violence and HIV/AIDS. This abstract was developed from my masters thesis (University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health).
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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