Predictors for the utilization of community support systems against intimate partner violence among married women living with HIV in southwestern Uganda

Background

Intimate partner violence (IPV) disproportionately affects married women living with HIV (MWLHIV) and results in undesirable human rights, socio-economic, mental, maternal, and child health consequences. Community support systems against violence (CoSaV) are public and voluntary resources for the prevention and mitigation of IPV. This study aimed to identify the predictors for the utilization of CoSaV among MWLHIV.

Methods

This was a quantitative cross-sectional study conducted among 424 MWLHIV in Uganda. Data were collected on socio-demographic characteristics, exposure to IPV, perceptions about CoSaV, and utilization of CoSaV. A modified Poisson regression model was used to identify the predictors for the utilization of CoSaV.

Results

The mean age of the participants was 39.5 years. More than half of the participants reported exposure to any IPV (51.9%). The utilization of any CoSaV was found to be average at 58.3% among the participants. The formal CoSaV were more frequently utilized compared to the informal support systems. Accessibility was identified as an independent predictor for utilization of any CoSaV.

Conclusions

IPV was prevalent among MWLHIV in southwestern Uganda. However, utilization of any CoSaV was suboptimal. The formal CoSaV were more frequently utilized than the informal support systems. Accessibility was an independent predictor for utilization of any CoSaV. There is a need to improve access to CoSaV to contribute to the attainment of sustainable development goal 5.2.1 and end violence against women.

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