Intimate Partner Violence and Increased Lifetime Risk of Sexually Transmitted Infection Among Women in Ukraine


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Population-based, cross-sectional data from 3,587 ever-married Ukrainian women aged 17–44 are used to examine the association between physical violence perpetrated by a sexual partner (defined as kicking, hitting, slapping, pushing, or attacking with a weapon) and sexual health knowledge, sexual behavior, and the likelihood of reporting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Such violence, both past and recent, is found to be associated with increased lifetime risk of acquiring an STI. Women who have been abused by a sexual partner, whether in the past 12 months or less recently, are significantly less likely to use condoms currently, and are significantly more likely to report having had multiple sexual partners in the past year. Findings from the study indicate that physical violence perpetrated by a sexual partner is associated with risky sexual behaviors and increased risk of sexually transmitted infection in Ukraine, and may constitute a barrier to prevention of HIV/STI transmission.