An important component of HIV voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) programs is encouraging clients to inform partners of their serostatus, yet many clients do not do so. Studies have found that a serious barrier to disclosure for women is fear of a violent reaction by male partners and that HIV-infected women are at increased risk for partner violence. Building on previous research, this study explored the links between HIV infection, serostatus disclosure, and partner violence among women attending the Muhimbili Health Information Center (MHIC), a VCT clinic in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. As noted in this summary, the study first collected qualitative data from women, men, and couples (n=67) who were MHIC clients. In the second phase, researchers enrolled 340 women after pre-test counseling and prior to collection of test results, and 245 women were interviewed three months after enrollment and testing. Nearly a third of the sample were HIV-positive, almost half were married, and 50 percent were between the ages of 18 and 29 and had less than seven years of education. The study followed WHO ethical and safety protocols for conducting research on violence against women.
"HIV and partner violence: Implications for HIV voluntary counseling and testing," Horizons Research Summary. Washington, DC: Population Council, 2001.