Addressing the Effects of Violence and Abuse to Improve the Health Outcomes of Women Living with HIV

Title: Addressing the Effects of Violence and Abuse to Improve the Health Outcomes of Women Living with HIV

Date Recorded: Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Description:  The intersections between HIV and gender based violence are critical to address when trying to enhance both violence and HIV prevention efforts, and to improve health outcomes for survivors. Despite wide-spread availability of effective HIV medications in the US, the majority of women living with HIV are not accessing life-saving treatment. Women, particularly women of color, experience significant barriers to accessing high quality healthcare, and experiences of childhood and adulthood abuse are now recognized in the literature not only as risk factors for acquiring HIV but also as barriers to optimal engagement in and retention in HIV healthcare. Because trauma and PTSD are known to predict poorer HIV-related health outcomes, culturally-responsive interventions that effectively address the intersections of gender, violence and HIV must be considered an integral component of HIV healthcare and social service provision. Christie’s Place is a women-led, women-focused agency that delivers comprehensive social and behavioral health services closely linked to HIV healthcare for women and family members infected and affected by HIV in San Diego County.

Learning Objectives:

1) understanding the ways that GBV enhances risk for HIV infection
2) understanding the current research on the prevalence of violence, abuse and trauma among women living with HIV in the US;
3) recognizing the impact of trauma and mental health conditions including PTSD on the health outcomes of women living with HIV; and
4) knowledge of resources available for health care providers and domestic violence advocates to address the intersections of HIV and GBV


  • Erin C. Falvey, Ph.D., Clinical Director, Christie’s Place (San Diego, CA)
  • Jay Blount, Peer Navigator, Christie’s Place