Addressing intimate partner violence and power in intimate relationships in HIV testing services in Nairobi, Kenya

Document Type

Article (peer-reviewed)

Publication Date



Intimate partner violence (IPV) undermines women’s uptake of HIV services and violates their human rights. In a two-arm randomized controlled trial we evaluated a short intervention that went a step beyond IPV screening to discuss violence and power with women receiving HIV testing services during antenatal care (ANC). The intervention included training and support for HIV counselors, a take-home card for clients, and an on-site IPV counselor. One third (35%) of women (N = 688) reported experiencing IPV in the past year; 6% were living with HIV. Among women experiencing IPV, program participants were more likely to disclose violence to their counselor than women receiving standard care (32% vs. 7%, p < 0.001). At second ANC visit, intervention group women were significantly more likely to report that talking with their counselor made a positive difference (aOR 2.9; 95% CI 1.8, 4.4; p < 0.001) and felt more confident in how they deserved to be treated (aOR 2.7; 95% CI 1.7, 4.4; p < 0.001). Exploratory analyses of intent to use ARVs to prevent mother-to-child transmission and actions to address violence were also encouraging.