• Article

Experiences of violence and association with decreased drug abstinence among women in Cape Town, South Africa

Drug abuse is a contributing factor in women’s HIV risk in low-income communities in Cape Town, South Africa. This study assessed whether experiencing violence is associated with reduced drug abstinence among adult women (n = 603) participating in a randomized field trial for an HIV prevention study in Cape Town. In relation to drug abstinence at 12-month follow-up, multivariable regression models were used to assess (1) baseline partner and non-partner victimization, and (2) victimization at 12-month follow-up among participants reporting baseline victimization. Baseline partner (AOR = 0.6; 95 % CI 0.4–0.9) and non-partner victimization (AOR = 0.6; 95 % CI 0.4–0.9) were associated with a reduced likelihood of drug abstinence at follow-up. Among participants who reported victimization at baseline, those no longer reporting victimization at follow-up did not differ significantly in drug abstinence compared with those who reported victimization at follow-up. The study findings highlight the lasting impact of victimization on women’s drug use outcomes, persisting regardless of whether violence was no longer reported at follow-up. Overall, the findings support the need for the primary prevention of violence to address the cycle of violence, drug use, and HIV among women in this setting.

Citation

Reed, E., Myers, B., Novak, S., Browne, F., & Wechsberg, W. (2015). Experiences of violence and association with decreased drug abstinence among women in Cape Town, South Africa. AIDS and Behavior, 19(1), 192-198. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-014-0820-1

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