AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 832–847 | Cite as

Forced Sexual Initiation, Sexual Intimate Partner Violence and HIV Risk in Women: A Global Review of the Literature

  • Jamila K. Stockman
  • Marguerite B. Lucea
  • Jacquelyn C. Campbell
Substantive Review


Coerced or forced sexual initiation and sexual intimate partner violence (sexual IPV) contribute significantly to a woman’s risk for HIV infection. This review systematically examines global research (n = 21 studies) published since 2000 on the role of coerced/forced sexual initiation and sexual IPV on HIV risk in women. In predominantly low- and middle-income countries, coerced/forced sexual initiation was associated with HIV/STIs, multiple and high-risk sex partners, and no condom use. Most studies using behaviorally specific terms for sexual IPV found strong associations between sexual IPV and HIV risk behaviors. In contrast, studies using less specific definitions often failed to find these significant associations. To develop more comprehensive HIV prevention programs, future efforts should integrate behaviorally specific terms into assessing prevalence of sexual IPV and its association with HIV risk, consider cultural differences, and identify causal pathways between coerced or forced sexual initiation, HIV risk behaviors and HIV/STI infection.


Sexual violence Forced sexual initiation Coerced sex HIV Women 


La iniciación sexual bajo coerción o forzada y la violencia sexual por una pareja íntima siguen contribuyendo significativamente al riesgo de la mujer de infectarse con el VIH. Esta revisión analiza de manera sistemática estudios realizados a nivel global (n = 21 estudios) y publicados desde el 2000 acerca del papel de la iniciación sexual bajo coerción o forzada y la violencia sexual por una pareja íntima en el riesgo que las mujeres corren de contraer el VIH. En países con ingresos mayoritariamente bajos y medios, la iniciación sexual bajo coerción o forzada estuvo relacionada con el VIH/ITS, el tener parejas sexuales tanto múltiples como de alto riesgo y la falta del uso del condón. La mayoría de los estudios que hicieron uso de términos específicos a la conducta para la violencia sexual por una pareja íntima hallaron fuertes relaciones entre la violencia sexual por una pareja íntima y los comportamientos de riesgo de contagio por el VIH. Por lo contrario, los estudios que usaron definiciones menos específicas a menudo no hallaron relaciones significativas entre la violencia sexual por una pareja íntima y el riesgo de contagio por el VIH. Para crear programas para la prevención del VIH más extensos, los futuros esfuerzos deben integrar términos específicos a la conducta en la evaluación de la prevalencia de la violencia sexual por una pareja íntima y su relación con el riesgo de contagio por el VIH, considerar las diferencias culturales e identificar las vías causales entre la iniciación sexual bajo coerción o forzada, los comportamientos de riesgo de contagio del VIH y la infección por el VIH/ITS.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jamila K. Stockman
    • 1
  • Marguerite B. Lucea
    • 2
  • Jacquelyn C. Campbell
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Global Public Health, Department of MedicineUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Community Public HealthJohns Hopkins University School of NursingBaltimoreUSA

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