AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 263–272

When HIV-Prevention Messages and Gender Norms Clash: The Impact of Domestic Violence on Women's HIV Risk in Slums of Chennai, India

  • Vivian F. Go
  • C. Johnson Sethulakshmi
  • Margaret E. Bentley
  • Sudha Sivaram
  • A. K. Srikrishnan
  • Suniti Solomon
  • David D. Celentano
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1025443719490

Cite this article as:
Go, V.F., Sethulakshmi, C.J., Bentley, M.E. et al. AIDS Behav (2003) 7: 263. doi:10.1023/A:1025443719490

Abstract

This paper examines how marital violence affects women's ability to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS. In-depth interviews (n = 48) and focus groups (n = 84, 3–7 per group) were conducted among men and women in two randomly selected slums of Chennai, India. The study showed that community gender norms tacitly sanction domestic violence that interferes with adopting HIV-preventive behaviors. Given the choice between the immediate threat of violence and the relatively hypothetical specter of HIV, women often resign themselves to sexual demands and indiscretions that may increase their risk of HIV acquisition. In conclusion, AIDS-prevention interventions must incorporate gender-related social contexts in settings where husbands strictly enforce their locus of control. HIV-prevention messages targeting men may effectively reduce women's exposure to HIV/AIDS.

Violence women HIV/AIDS gender norms India 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vivian F. Go
    • 1
  • C. Johnson Sethulakshmi
    • 2
  • Margaret E. Bentley
    • 3
  • Sudha Sivaram
    • 1
  • A. K. Srikrishnan
    • 2
  • Suniti Solomon
    • 2
  • David D. Celentano
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyJohns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimore
  2. 2.YRG Center for AIDS Research and EducationChennaiIndia
  3. 3.Carolina Population Center, School of Public HealthUniversity of North CarolinaChapel Hill

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