Countering the Surge of HIV/STIs and Co-occurring Problems of Intimate Partner Violence and Drug Abuse Among African American Women: Implications for HIV/STI Prevention

  • Nabila El-Bassel
  • Louisa Gilbert
  • Susan Witte
  • Elwin Wu
  • Danielle Vinocur


HIV/AIDS has had a devastating impact on African American women in the United States. Intimate partner violence (IPV) has been recognized as a risk factor for HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among African American women, particularly among those who are drug-involved. Substantial evidence indicates that the staggering rates of HIV and other STIs found among African American women have been fueled by their greater likelihood of experiencing the co-occurring problems of drug use and IPV. This chapter examines: (1) the rates of IPV among drug-involved, African American women; (2) the interpersonal contexts that link experiencing IPV and engaging in HIV/STI transmission risks among African American, drug-involved women; (3) drug involvement as a cause and correlate of IPV and HIV/STI transmission risks; (4) community-level factors influencing HIV/STIs among African American women; (5) macro-structural level risk factors, which influence the co-occurring problems of IPV, HIV risk, and drug use among African American women; and (6) implications for HIV prevention addressing the co-occurring problems of HIV, STIs, drug use and IPV among African American women. The chapter underscores the need for HIV/STI prevention strategies for African American women that address intrapersonal/individual, interpersonal, community, macro and structural risk factors.


Intimate Partner Violence African American Woman Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Sexual Coercion Abuse Woman 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nabila El-Bassel
    • 1
  • Louisa Gilbert
  • Susan Witte
  • Elwin Wu
  • Danielle Vinocur
  1. 1.Social Intervention GroupColumbia University School of Social WorkNew YorkUSA

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