Millions of women around the world face two great threats to their health and well-being: HIV/AIDS and violence by an intimate partner. One of the strongest associations between the two is the role that violence and the threat of violence play in limiting a woman’s ability to negotiate safer sex with a partner. A similar fear of violence also discourages women who receive HIV voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) from telling partners about test results. This study explored the links between HIV infection, serostatus disclosure, and partner violence among women attending a VCT clinic in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Researchers began with a qualitative research phase with VCT clients at the Muhimbili Health Information Center. In the second phase, researchers interviewed women who had been tested and counseled three months earlier. The details in this brief show that while there is considerable fear of a partner’s reaction, there is little evidence from HIV-positive or HIV-negative women surveyed that serostatus disclosure frequently leads to physical violence.
Knapp, Carolyn. 2001. "HIV and partner violence: What are the implications for voluntary counseling and testing?" The Horizons Report, Spring 2001. Washington, DC: Population Council.