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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Violence prevention among HIV-positive women with histories of violence: healing women in their communities.

  • Author(s): Wyatt, Gail E
  • Hamilton, Alison B
  • Myers, Hector F
  • Ullman, Jodie B
  • Chin, Dorothy
  • Sumner, Lekeisha A
  • Loeb, Tamra B
  • Carmona, Jennifer V
  • Zhang, Muyu
  • Liu, Honghu
  • et al.

Experiences of past and current gender-based violence are common among HIV-positive women in the United States, who are predominantly from ethnic minority groups. However, culturally congruent, feasible interventions for HIV-positive women who have experienced past and/or current violence are not widely available. The Office on Women's Health Gender Forum has made several recommendations for responding to the National HIV/AIDS Strategy Implementation Plan, including recommendations to incorporate gender-based violence prevention into a comprehensive, gender-responsive national strategy. This paper draws on an example of a community-based project for HIV-positive women, the Healing Our Women Project, to illustrate how violence prevention can be achieved within peer-led and community-based programming. Strong community partnerships, responsiveness to community needs and local cultural norms, a trained workforce, and culturally competent care are programmatic cornerstones of gender-responsive services. HIV-positive women with histories of gender-based violence and risk factors for current and future violence deserve the highest quality gender-responsive services to ensure that they can address their health needs within contexts of safety and respect.

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