Background: The estimated one in three women worldwide victimized by intimate partner violence (IPV) consistently demonstrate elevated STI/HIV prevalence; abusive male partners’ risky sexual behaviors and subsequent infection are implicated. Little empirical data exist to characterize men’s sexual risk as it relates to violence perpetration and STI/HIV.
Methods: Data from a survey of men ages 18-35 recruited from three community-based health clinics in an urban area (n=1585) were analyzed to assess the prevalence of IPV perpetration and relations of such violent behavior with both standard (e.g., anal sex, injection drug use) and gendered (e.g., coercive condom practices, sexual infidelity) forms of sexual risk, and STI/HIV diagnosis.
Results: Approximately one third of participants (32.7%) reported perpetrating violence against an intimate partner in their lifetime; 1 in 8 (12.4%) participants reported history of STI/HIV diagnosis. Men’s IPV perpetration related to both standard and gendered STI/HIV risk behaviors (AORS 1.72 to 6.22) and to STI/HIV diagnosis (OR 4.85, 95% CI 3.54, 6.66). In a multivariate model, the association of men’s IPV perpetration with STI/HIV diagnosis was partially attenuated (AOR 2.55, 95% CI 1.77, 3.67), and a subset of gendered sexual risk behaviors were found to be independently related to STI/HIV diagnosis.
Conclusions: Men’s perpetration of violence against intimate partners is common among this population. Abusive men are at increased risk for STI/HIV, with gendered forms of sexual risk behavior partially responsible. Findings indicate the need for interwoven sexual health promotion and violence prevention efforts targeted to men that include addressing gendered sexual risk.