Introduction and Background Sexual violence and the risk of HIV transmission are clearly linked through multiple pathways underpinned by gender inequalities and poverty like increased genital injury, anal rape, multiple perpetrators and ejaculation all common in sexual violence. It is important therefore to understand and recognise these links between sexual violence and HIV/AIDS as the basis for developing strategies to address the complex interactions at individual, communal and institutional levels.
Objectives Based on the Kenya's post-election violence of 2008, this study aimed to capture and understand the complex and multiple factors that interact to influence vulnerability to HIV and AIDS. Its holistic framework proposed a macro level model for understanding the risks factors for STIs, and HIV/AIDS transmission within the context of sexual violence. Its main objective was to explore and identify bio-medical and epidemiological factors that act as conduits for the transmission of HIV/AIDS and other STIs within crisis and unstable settings.
Methodology and Results It uses a multi-disciplinary approach that simultaneously embraces gender, poverty and biomedical analytical lenses to identify and strategically address emerging links between violence and HIV/AIDS. Interviews and VCT were administered to both multistage cluster and purposively-random sampled sexual violence victims in Kenya—A multiple logistic regression model controlling age, condom use (if any), and biological influences like the routes of exposure—whether vagino-penile or anal-penile—and sex of both victims and assailants was adopted. Overall prevalence for HIV, syphilis and gonorrhoea shot up: 2.3%, 1.1%, and 3.1% respectively among men. For women: 2.7%, 1.9%, and 4.2.0% respectively.
Conclusion and Recommendations Sexual violence diminishes people's social capital in terms of social networks, norms, and traditions that could prove to be conducive to the spread of the HIV. We recommend early diagnosis to allow treatment of sexual violence survivors. Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), to address exposure to HIV as a result of sexual violence, emergency contraception and VCT should form the backbone for intervention in order to address the menace of HIV/AIDS. Anti-retroviral regimens dramatically improve rates of mortality and morbidity, prolong lives, improve quality of life, revitalise communities and transform perceptions of HIV/AIDS from a plague to a manageable, chronic illness.
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